This project was inspired by our team's mutual love of bagels. On many a trip to Cafe Fresh Bagel in Needham Mass, we noticed a particular inefficiency, in the fact that the person taking our order would usually have to go choose the bagel, slice it, toast it, apply cream cheese to it, and serve it, before taking the next customer's order.
What it does
An operator places a bagel into the machine. In one swift action, the bagel is cleaved into two pieces, like splitting an atom--causing an explosion of dangerous flavor. The bagel falls onto the scorching griddle and is carefully toasted to a perfect doneness. A sweeper mechanism gently removes the bagel from the griddle at the perfect time.
How we built it
We split the project into three subsystems: pushing the bagel, slicing the bagel, and extruding cream cheese onto the bagel. After an initial and successful round of prototyping the individual components during the first half of the make period, we turned to integrating these three systems into one. We think the result speaks for itself.
Challenges we ran into
On quick-iteration build projects such as this one, we rely heavily on custom-made laser-cut parts, since the laser cutter is usually the quickest method for precise, robust fabrication. Unfortunately, delays in processing laser cutting jobs ate into our opportunity to iterate on our designs, and a lot of time was wasted waiting for our parts to get cut. What was intended to be a first iteration of the pushing mechanism we were forced to hack into our final model. We'll definitely keep this in mind for hackathons in the future.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're really happy with the cutting motion, especially how well we were able to integrate the bagel pushing mechanism into the slicing mechanism. It's always awesome to see two automated systems working in synchrony.
What we learned
-Mechanical prototyping takes way longer than it looks. -Always have a fallback plan for fabrication -Most bagels from the store come pre-sliced