So as frequent readers on Hack a Day we have been following their recent competitions. We’ve recently designed and built a delta-bot to use as a mill. Machining molds for aluminum casting of parts was the intended function. After reading a comment about machining the crust off a sandwich we knew what had to be done. We were going to machine lunch. There was a moment at the store where we stopped to think about what we were doing for just a minute. There we were, squeezing loaves of bread trying to decide which one would mill the best when toasty. The winner: potato bread, consistent grain and reasonably dense. While we were there anyway, we though “hey, what other foods could we machine”, and with that jello made the cut.
So one Hack a Day jello jiggler and grilled cheese was on the lunch menu. There are better ways to make both for sure, like making a shaped cutter to make our shapes, using a drag knife, or even machining a jello mold but we didn’t. Instead we learned that the degree of toasting changes its machinability, what feed rate and bit work best, and that thumbtacks taped to our mill bed hold the sandwich nice and steady. Jello took a lot of experimentation and I can say with some certainty that we may be the foremost experts in machining jello. We’re not quite ready to throw a block of jello on a 5 axis mill and crank out a turbo fan but we’ll get there someday. We ended up getting our best results from a thick jello mixture that was frozen. At normal freezer temps our jello still moved under the tool pressure but it eliminated the jiggle that led to multiple failures (Note: tasty failures, best kind). So here is the fruit of our labor. Happy Hacking.