Jan 30, 2015 | By Will

For those of you who recall the second iteration of the PancakeBot printer from last year, prepare yourselves. For those missed it, just know that there's a maker out there by the name of Miguel Valenzuela who created a LEGO-based CNC machine that can print out pancakes straight onto the griddle. That was a makeshift rig made of LEGO mindstorms (robot sets) with ketchup bottles for batter dispensers, only really capable of printing out plain old pancakes.

The original PancakeBot

The second version of PancakeBot unveiled at Maker Faire 2014 was improved with its acrylic body, Arduino controller, and real stepper motors. It used the stepper motors and two belt drives to control the batter-head's position and the actual batter dispenser. That enabled it to be programmed with more advanced print jobs like the Eiffel Tower, a portrait U.S. President Obama, or almost any two-dimensional design for that matter. It was an open-source machine that could fit around an electric griddle, so at least for the ambitious maker it was possible to start printing pancakes.

The second PancakeBot prototype

Now, five years after PancakeBot first went viral online, Valenzuela finally plans to bring his invention to market—perhaps he felt a sense of sweet validation from CES this year when the CocoJet 3D printer stole the show. The PancakeBot crew will be teaming up with Storebound to mass-produce the machine for leading retailers.

The new PancakeBot prototype

Images credit: Pancake Bot

With such a tantalizing product, you can't help but applaud Valenzuela's entrepreneurship. After all, demand for awesome pancakes will never falter; plus they have a nice pun in the tagline, "Batter is not included." Detailed specifications on the upcoming model are still not available, so stay tuned for more as the PancakeBot team reveals more about their plan to unleash pancake printing upon the masses. It does appear to include the griddle this time, so given that the electronic components are probably upgraded as well, the price tag could be fairly high.

Although the PancakeBot is more of a CNC machine than a full-on 3D printer, this product's pending success at mass market could be a great chance for 3D printing to nudge further into the mainstream. In the meantime pancake design contests are starting to seem inevitable, so get started on those advanced pancake builds because competition could get hot, and the taste of victory is sweet as syrup.

Posted in 3D Printers


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GPaulsen wrote at 1/30/2015 11:20:51 PM:

Is this considered 3D printing because the batter is thick? Would the thickness of ink over a piece of paper also classify as 3D printed? This is a batter printer, there is nothing that makes it an additive manufacturing machine. Now, if it extruded cooked pancakes and built upwards based off of a 3D model, then we'd be within the technical definition of additive manufacturing.

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