Group R - Chocolate Dropper
Dr. Patricia Weisensee wants a way to introduce thermal engineering concepts earlier in the engineering curriculum. Her idea was to engage the students by having a working chocolate 2.5D printer. The project was split into two different parts: the chocolate dropper, and the chocolate platform. The goal being to combine both projects to make a full chocolate printer. We chose to tackle the chocolate dropper components. The goal of the chocolate dropper was to control vertical movement, contain and melt the chocolate, and vary the drop rate. She also wanted the ability to film the drops as they hit the platform, so the platform can't be obstructed. Our goals for the end prototype was to be able to start and melt chocolate in less than 10 minutes, have four distinct drop rates including full close, and an adjustable height from 0 to 6 inches. Our final design used two stepper motors for a continuous height adjustment. We used a heating pad connected to a wall outlet four our heating element. Our drop adjustment was controlled by a ball valve on the nozzle. The structure was a "gantry" design with a U-shaped base to allow the platform group to fit their project under ours.
Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)
Thomas, Bryce; Rendon, Fiona; Mcrae, Connor; and Moore, Jordon, "Group R - Chocolate Dropper" (2019). Mechanical Engineering Design Project Class. 118.