This Cookie Dough Dispensing Gadget Brings Consistency to Your Baking

Chuck's latest project attempts to quickly and accurately dispense cookie dough for a smoother baking experience.

The need for consistent cookies

Baking, unlike most other forms of cooking, relies on precise quantities, temperatures, and timings in order to get the perfect result. And even though cookies as a baked good are a little more forgiving, it is still important that each dough round is the same size and shape going onto the baking tray. Fed up with having to tediously scoop out dough and deposit it in neat rows and columns, Chuck from the YouTube channel Startup Chuck decided to build his own gadget that could get a consistent result every time.

A failed experiment

Around 10 years ago Chuck constructed a somewhat similar prototype out of a glass cylinder, piston, and flexible plastic tubing. As the theory went, pumping pressurized air into the bottom chamber would push the piston upwards and move the dough through the tubing before it would finally be deposited out the other end. However, the dense nature of cookie dough caused too much pressure to build and eventually shattered the cylinder and Chuck's hopes of building his dough-slinging device.

Designing the new dispenser

This time around, Chuck took inspiration from caulking guns and married the concept of a mechanically-advantaged piston moving against a store-bought sausage casing of cookie dough. This way, reloading the chamber is as simple as placing in a new tube and watching as it gets gradually squeezed out the nozzle. The other improvement to the design is a chopper at the end of the nozzle, which is meant to quickly and cleanly slice portioned amounts automatically.

Electronics and pneumatics

Moving the plunger in a linear manner was accomplished by combining a NEMA23 stepper motor with a stepper driver and an Arduino microcontroller. At first, the speed and distances were fine-tuned with a pair of pushbuttons for moving the piston in and out, but this was eventually transitioned to constant values. To slice the tube of dough at the exact right moment, a distance sensor was positioned to the side of the nozzle. When it begins reading a much smaller value, it lets the microcontroller know the dough is at the correct size. Performing the cutting action is a dual-valve pneumatic piston, which slides either direction depending on the side being opened by the Arduino board.

Time to bake

After some tinkering and tuning of the speed values, dough disc height, and nozzle size, Chuck tested his new gadget by placing down a row of cookie dough slugs onto a cookie sheet. Each piece measured in at around 17 grams in weight and was approximately seven centimeters wide once baked- making this a successful prototype. In a future follow-up video, Chuck plans on building a fully automated cookie vending machine that can dispense, bake, and deliver several cookies at once. For now, you can watch his video on this cookie dough dispenser here on YouTube.

Evan Rust
IoT, web, and embedded systems enthusiast. Contact me for product reviews or custom project requests.
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