Snack Card Dispenser Project

This year 3D-PT has a busy schedule of autism related conferences planned. At every conference the vending tables always have some candy ready to attract and fuel frazzled conference participants.

I have wanted to have a 3D printed candy dispenser ready for my table. Fortunately for me there are a few vending machine designs already available. I found this snack dispenser that would only need 3 printed parts as well as a Mason Jar and ring. I’ve canned food in the past, and I have some cobalt blue and purple quart Mason jars that would look great against a blue base.

I am making the machine in blue to continue the theme of “Light it up Blue” for Autism awareness.

The completed Snack Card Dispenser (SCD)
Snack Card Dispenser Project 2

Space Saving

Vendors can pay $200 – $1,000 for a single table at a conference. For the vendors there, every square cm of table space needs to be utilized to sell items or advertise.

The only downside of the original snack dispenser  design was the foot print. At 195 mm x 195 mm x 130 mm, it ate up a lot of table space with minimal use. There was a lot of wasted space in the body of the snack holder that I wanted to use as well.

I realized that I could put some recess spaces inside of the snack holder to hold business cards. I also wanted to plaster my logo onto the back of the snack card dispenser (SCD) where I could.

Cram in TinkerCAD – snack card dispenser

In a previous blog I used TinkerCAD to transform a spool holder into the Spool of Thrones holder. I wanted to do the same for the SCD to combine a couple of functions into it.

Card Holder – snack card dispenser

After logging into TinkerCAD, I imported the original snack holder base onto the workspace.

Recessed space put inside holder for business cards.
Snack Card Dispenser Project 3

Using the geometric shapes I first made a trapezoidal block that was slightly bigger than a business card. Using the align tool to place them flush to the edges of the base, making sure to center them.

Logo Large – snack card dispenser

Back of the SCD with 3D-PT’s logo
Snack Card Dispenser Project 4

The last thing I put on my dispenser was my company’s logo for 3D-

PT. After arranging the letters how I wanted them, I expanded them by grabbing the square handles in TinkerCAD. I then positioned them so they would be recesses letters in the back of the dispenser.

Clip & Crank – snack card dispenser

The other two parts of the original snack dispenser were straight forward. The crank handle was a bit too simple and round. For some people on the spectrum, dexterity is an issue so I needed the crank handle to have something like a wingnut design.

Crank for dispenser with arrow to point up.
Snack Card Dispenser Project 5

After playing around in the user contributed shapes in TinkerCAD, I found the some shapes that would give a nice grip to the crank.

After using the align tools to center two shapes up, I then centered them onto the crank.

I wanted to also make an arrow to show which direction to turn the crank. Another user contributed item was a hollow arrow-head. After making it into a hole, I centered it in the middle of the top of the crank handle.

Processing – snack card dispenser

After every print comes the funniest part of 3D printing, the processing. I found that printing the main body at a coarse resolution caused me a fit problem. The crank required some sanding with a coarse sanding block to get it to fit inside the hole for the main body.

The retaining clip in the original file was way too tight. I did the dance of frustrated 3D printers and spent the hour drilling, filing and sanding get the clip to fit in place.

The Masson jar fits perfectly into the top of base, and I just need some hot glue to hold it in place. With a colbalt blue Mason Jar, it matches the blue base printed in blue ColorFabb PLA/PHA.

This is an overview of an upcoming class I am writing on how to use TinkerCAD. This project, including the files and instructions will be available for purchase. Patent Pending.

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