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Pi Chef Design Challenge

11 Posts authored by: a_davis_22
First I’ll give the hardware update and then the electrical.   For this project to work right, I need to be able to roll the dough out on the pan and have it come off well when it’s done cooking. So I went to the store and bought a non-stick mat. The dough rolled out really well on this mat, but the mat did not stay on the pan. So I made my own pan out of a galvanized steel sheet. I cut the mat a little shorter than 11”, cut off the corners of the steel sheet, and bent th ...
Well, as they say, "experience is the best teacher."   I decided to work on getting the oven control working since that seemed like it should be pretty straightforward. I had already gotten my mains power switching circuit to work by turning on a lamp. So all I needed to do was write a python program to turn on the toaster oven for about 6 minutes (until it was at 350 F) and then repeatedly stay on for 12 seconds and turn off for 10 seconds. I hooked up the wires, wrote the code, and voil ...
There's only one week left and my project is not as close to being finished as it should be, so I've had to make some design changes and cut out functionality.   PyCNC uses almost all of the raspberry pi's GPIO pins so that it can do CNC milling or 3D printing, but this poses a problem for my project. The roller, oven heating, and the arm to move the pan into the oven are all extra parts. I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate this functionality into the PyCNC code as it is, and ...
As I was waiting for my new PSoC to come, I decided to take some time to learn about gcode. For a long time I've wanted to know how CNC's work and what gcode really is. I figured it was a list of instructions like this, "go to (3, 2)" but I learned it's actually more complicated than that. Gcode is the language sent from a computer that instructs a CNC or XY plotter or 3D printer where and how to move. Typically an instruction starts with a letter of the alphabet and is followed by numbers. Ther ...
Base and Platform: I decided that this machine could mostly be built out of wood. My father-in-law owns a cabinet shop, so I just used scrap pieces and built it there. For the base, I wanted to use a box, but the one I found was pretty heavy and bulky and didn't allow for easily adding things to the inside. I decided it would be best to just build my own. My husband actually did most of the construction from my instructions. As you can see from the pictures, the base was formed by mounting two ...
Before I post my mechanical build, I realized I should have already posted about the design. In my  introduction post I explained the basics of my mechanical design. Here I'll go into the details.   The Automatic Dough Shaper consists of three main parts: a dough sheeter, an xy plotter, and a toaster oven.     My original idea was this:   The Platform (A) acts as the basic moving mechanism and the y axis of the xy plotter. A metal pan sits on the platform and the d ...
In order to cut the dough into shapes, my project uses an XY plotter type of set up. The platform will move back and forth as the Y axis and the cutting head will sit above the platform and move across the platform perpendicular to the Y axis motion. These both need to be able to move to exact positions. Typically in XY plotter projects like mine, stepper motors are used to get this precision.   Stepper motors come in a few different varieties; I chose to use a four wire bipolar motor.  ...
A quick summary of the last blog: I used a thermistor to measure temperature, soldered my mains power switching circuit, and I discovered that the raspberry pi is not made to be used like a microcontroller.   I started working on controlling my stepper motors. I was really excited to be doing this part, but (as I learned again) the raspberry pi is not meant to function like a microcontroller. A microcontroller is very good for controlling a stepper motor. A raspberry pi is very good for te ...
Sometimes your mistakes are so simple, you can’t find the answers on the internet…   Yeah... so after I put the SD card into the raspberry pi, it worked. I then went on to make several more mistakes on the same level, but eventually I figured them out as well.   Let’s get into the progress I’ve made and what I learned. This week I worked on getting the toaster oven control done. I decided to use a thermistor to measure the oven temperature. I have never done ...
Time is marching along and it's time for an update!   My first post was a general overview of my project: Automatic Dough Shaper - Blog #1 The idea is essentially this: dough goes in, gets flattened, shaped, baked, and comes out.   Project Timeline: Week 1: Order parts Weeks 2-3: Set up Raspberry Pi and toaster oven control Weeks 4: Roller control Week 5-6: XY control Weeks 7-9: Fine tune functionality and user interaction Weeks 10-11: Troubleshooting and last minute fixes &# ...
Wow, I'm so excited to be doing this challenge! But I'm also really nervous. There are a lot of more experienced engineers and this will be the most complicated project I've done on my own. But what better project to do than a fun and not quite impossible challenge? Well, here I go - to the finish line!   Project Overview:   As stated in the synopsis, I'm basically making a cnc cookie machine. Dough goes in, cookies come out. It easily extends to other baked goods as well, like homem ...