Friday, March 27, 2015

PancakeBot Now For Sale in Non-LEGO Form

Name of Model: PancakeBot
Created by: Miguel Valenzuela
Found at:
Details: Those of you who have supported a Kickstarter project in the past may have recognized a project that showed up in yesterday's "Projects We Love" e-mail. "This Week in Kickstarter" featured PancakeBot, which I wrote about here in 2011 and spotlighted in advance of World Maker Faire 2012. For those of you just tuning in, this is a machine that can print pancakes with custom designs. The non-LEGO Kickstarter project is already well beyond the original funding goal, and will eventually be available for sale at $299 USD (you can still support the project on Kickstarter to get it at a lower price). Oddly, much of what's been written about the current Kickstarter project refers to 2013 as when the idea became the "working LEGO version" and 2014 as when the "First working prototype" was made. I was pretty impressed with the video from 2011, but perhaps a later LEGO version (that I can't seem to find with a quick search) was more reliable and is what they're now considering the "working" version.

There's been a considerable amount of hype around the Mindstorms line as a source of tomorrow's great inventions. This 'bot might be the first to actually go all the way from LEGO-based rapid prototyping to being a mass-produced product that people buy. If you can think of another one, let us know!

You might find the 3D Printing Industry interview with the builder of interest as well.

I also previously missed the builder's blog post on creating a peristaltic pump (out of LEGO pieces) for dispensing syrup.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Minifig-Scale Chandelier

Name of Model: Chain Challenge 11: Swashbuckling!
Created by: Joe "joeseidon" Miller
Found at:
Details: In the past few years, there's been a proliferation of seed-part based challenges in the wake of the popular "Iron Builder" contest. I (Dan) did my part by finding a way to make such a game fit in at BrickFair, but most of these challenges revolve around Flickr. Sometimes, like in this case, it's just a couple of builders taking up the challenge for the fun of it. This particular challenge is based around the current small, 5-link chain element. Surely a silly piece, it's much too short to be useful and was originally used for Ninjago weaponry when it first came out. They've found plenty of clever uses for it, although some of them make use of the classic "everything is more useful in quantity" trick.

Joe's entries so far have included this great chandelier, a microscale scene with a great truck, chairs and curtains, an octopus, and even a house. His competitor, Leopold "Legopold" Mao's entries so far include a roller coaster, a server room, a Micropolis prison complex, and a goblin family with a pet human. In a just world, I'd have blogged more of these models separately, but I've given up on that.