latte printer

Introduction to Rapid Prototyping, Spring 2016

My group designed and developed a machine that would take vector images and print them with spice over a latte or desired food of choice. We used the microcontroller Photon, Processing, laser-cutting, 3D printing, and a lot of hard work to create the latte printer.


Our first prototype was a throwaway cardboard model, made to help us visualize what kind of mechanisms and construction we invisioned for this machine to work. I designed the second prototype: laser-cutting acrylic for the container, 3D printing pieces to connect the Cinnibird dispenser to a motor, and attaching the linear and radial motors to everything else. For the final protoype, I improved the 3D-printed attacher for the Cinnibird and worked on converting vector files to coordinates through the programming language Processing.

Cinnamon Dispenser

I modified the existing product Cinnibird, which dispenses spice with a button click, to suit our project's needs. I also designed and 3D-printed a knob to hold the cinnibird to the linear motor which would move it around.

Motor System

The device uses a 2D polar coordinate drawing system to better match the shape of latte cups. To accomplish xy image coordinates are mapped to polar coordinates.

The left picture shows the linear motor which moves along the radius of the polar coordinate system, and the right shows the radial motor which modifies the angle used in the system.

The user can select a picture from our stored SVG images. Our Processing program reads svg lines and curves (by approximating them as lines) and sends the coordinates to our device.