PancakeTronix: Feed more than the eye – SCOPES Digital Fabrication

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Miguel Valenzuela
Miguel Valenzuela
Miguel Valenzuela is a California Registered Civil Engineer, maker, and the inventor of PancakeBot.  Miguel currently runs the PancakeBot Innovation Center and Makerspace in Vestfossen Norway, a space dedicated to art and cultural centric innovation with a tasty twist. Miguel’s… Read More


Explore the science behind pancakes with PancakeTronix and PancakeBot. Participants will learn how the ingredients in pancake batter affect everything from the shape, texture, to taste of your digital printed pancakes. Using a simple matrix with varying ingredient amounts, the students will print out four designs for each batch and observe, touch, and taste the difference in the designs and recipes.



What You'll Need



  • PancakeBot with Griddle
  • Mixing bowls (1 to 2 liter)
  • Mixing Spoons
  • Mixing Forks
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Scale
  • Spatula for flipping
  • Stop Watch
  • A camera to document your results.


Total Ingredients


  • 3 Cups – Milk*
  • 3 – Eggs*
  • 6 Tablespoons – Oil
  • 3 Cups – Flour
  • 6 Tablespoons – Sugar
  • 6 Teaspoons – Baking Powder
  • 1.5 Teaspoons – Salt


*You may use any type of milk or eggs substitute you wish but unless the experiment calls for a change, keep the same milk throughout the experiment.


Batch Ingredients

From the total ingredients, you will create 5 batches with different amounts of certain ingredients.



When operating the PancakeBot, there are few precautions one must take.


  1. Keep lose hair or clothes away from the belts while the PancakeBot is moving. The belts and motors are low powered but may pinch fingers during movement if fingers are caught between the belt and the drive motors.
  2. Always assume the griddle is hot. The griddle will remain hot for at least 10 minutes even after it is unplugged and turned off.
  3. Take care when removing the thermostat heating probe. The metal probe should always assumed to be hot.
  4. Always unplug the electric cord from the power outlet after use.
  5. The griddle may warp slightly during extended usage. Drop the temperature down on the thermostat should this occur.
  6. The griddles for PancakeBot are voltage specific and there are different voltages for US(110V) and EU(220V) approved Griddles. Check the bottom of the griddle to make sure you are using the right voltage.
  7. Always assume a risk of fire when using any cooking appliance. Discuss any fire risks with the appropriate safety personnel.
  8. Check the temperatures of the pancakes to insure they are safe before eating them. Steam may get trapped inside air pockets in the batter.
  9. Last and most important, just remember to keep a safety mindset!


The Instructions

Start Your Batches!

Using the base recipe as a starting point, add or subtract the ingredients based on the matrix provided.

The matrix provided shows modifications to the original recipe that will be used as your base recipe. Each variation changes the chemical composition of the pancake batter and will vary the results of the final print.


Study the matrix and ask yourself what might the change to the base recipe do to the final print batter mix.


Make sure to label each batch so you don’t get them mixed up. Used the attached handout to predict the outcome and make comments about the results.

Use the stop watch to time the mixing of the batter for one minute. You can mix the batter with anything you want as long as the method is the same for all four batches.

Print Your Pancakes!

You will now print your pancakes and make adjustments as needed to see, taste, and feel the results.

The goal of this excersise is to try to make the batter recipe the only variation in the process so you will need to follow these guidelines on all print runs. Make sure that the batter bottle is rinsed and dried between each run.


The given test file has four different designs on them, all layed out on the griddle. For printing the pancakes, use the following adjustments:


  1. Printing Pressure nozzle on 4 (do this by turning the round pressure knob on the control panel)
  2. Speed set to 90% (do this by pressing the down facing arrow buttons)
  3. Griddle Temp setting to Medium-High (inbetween Medium and High)
  4. Reduce Griddle temperature to Medium-Low after second layer is printed.


Study the designs before printing and see if you can anticipate the outcomes of each batter batch based on the design. Some things to consider are cooking time (the darker colors cook longer), line thickness, line length, warping, crispiness, and taste.


When flipping the pancakes, try to flip them all the same way, regardless if they fall apart or not.

Use the attached worksheet to document your results for each test run.


Documenting the Results

Now that you have printed your pancakes, with the given parameters, use the final worksheet to score the pancake recipes based on the parameters given.

Use the attached worksheet to document your results!


  • (Fab-Safety.2): I can operate equipment in a Fab Lab following safety protocols.
  • (Fab-Fabrication.2): I can develop workflows across four or more of the following: modeling softwares, programming environments, fabrication machines, electronic components, material choices, or assembly operations.
  • (4-ETS1-3): Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

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