Mar. 19, 2015 | By Alec

Fruit is arguably a crucial part of any breakfast, but slicing everything can be tedious and time-consuming. If you’ve run into the same problems every morning Jerry’s 3D printed Fruit and Vegetable Slicer could be just what you need. While you might have seen similar machines on day-time shopping networks in the past, this 3D printed machine has several advantages: you can make it at home, adjust it to your own preferences (and fruits) and it features various different splitters for optimal slicing potential.

As Jerry, a mechanical designer from Slovenia, explained, this idea was born out of his own breakfast struggles. ‘The fruit salad. This is the mixture of fresh sliced fruits such as apple, kiwi, banana with honey and lemon juice. Mmm… For sure.. good energy bomb for the morning. The only thing I don’t like about making this salad is that it takes too much time to cut fruit into small pieces,’ he explains. ‘At that point I was started thinking; how to make some tool which will split and cut fruit in one operation. There are a lot of different tools how to slice fruits but all just splits the fruits in one way.’

As Jerry has quite a bit of design experience himself, he decided to design his own 3D printed slicing machine that is based on the principles of mincers used for mincemeat. ‘In this design you push fruit through the desired splitter and after that through a blade which will cut fruit into small pieces. Also you can print different shapes of splitter (hexagonal, circular,…) or different numbers of blades to get different sizes of fruits.’ While Jerry is still working on prototypes, the idea is to create many different slicing sections that can withstand various forces.

His initial testing proved unsuccessful, however. ‘The problem appeared as soon apple hit the splitter and the table was starting rotating which prevent to push apple through the splitter. Second problem was that table was printed with 10% infill and 2 shells which made it bend, creating a lot of friction and eventually stopping the rotation. I almost broke main spiral shaft. I had better success with soft fruits such as banana, but that’s not what I wanted.’

The main problem, as it turns out, is that the splitters were neither sharp nor thin enough to slice the hard apples. While suitable for softer fruits and vegetables, Jerry is currently working on incorporating steel blades or something similar to ensure an optimal cutting experience. All of those problems should be fixed in the second design, which Jerry has uploaded to Thingiverse here. All parts can be 3D printed in either PLA or ABS (the latter is harder, so might be better for slicing fruit). Layer heights and infills differ per part, so keep an eye on Jerry’s instructions. He invites everyone to 3D print their own and enjoy a nutritious breakfast that is also fun to prepare. 



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Thinkerrer wrote at 3/20/2015 1:09:12 PM:

So, you have to cut your apple first to drop it in there (because there is that spiral shaft right down the middle that clearly is in the way). And you have to remove the apple core with the seeds too, if you, like me don't like to eat them. At that point you could just go ahead and slice the rest of the fruit with a normal knife in a few seconds. Kitchen tools are nice, but you have to remember that they need to be cleaned too, so usually it's not worth using a machine unless you have A LOT of stuff to cut. Seems to be a fun engineering challenge and design project, but unfortunately not really useful in the end to prep a fruit salad quickly. For apples, i much more prefer the "machines" where you stick your apple on it, and rotate them with a crank, and a knife peels them and another knife cuts the apple into an endless slice and leaves the core behind.

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