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This is it.

It’s finally here.

I am, of course, talking about a 3D printed automatic Skittles sorter.

No more do you have to cancel plans or cut off ties with loved ones in order to have the time you need to get your Skittles sorted. Now, you and I both know that Skittles have distinct flavors and some of them are simply better than others – and you have every right to keep them separate. Don’t let haters make you feel like you are devoting time and energy toward a useless activity. Instead, impress them with the high tech color differentiation technology that makes automated Skittle sorting a reality.

8432521441593443946In a video released on YouTube, contributor MrPrezident (Nathan Peterson) displays this life changing technology as it works its way through a handful of skittles of different colors. The machine uses an Arduino Uno, combined with a Zitrades color sensor module in order to determine the color of each individual candy. To ensure it is operating in an environment with sufficient light to make the color determination, it includes an illuminating LED, thereby limiting the chance that the all to commonly tragic red/orange confusion leaves you with an unsorted pile. After the color reading of each Skittle is complete, they are sorted with a series of gears, each into a tray with only its like-colored mates.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.19.08 PMPeterson decided to address this pressing issue as a project for trying out his latest acquisition: a 3D printer. He described what he was looking for in his ultimate Skittle sorting machine:

“I started working on this project because I thought it would be a fun project as it has some unique challenges, and it gave me a chance to make heavy use of my newly acquired 3D printer. I wanted to build a compact machine that would sort skittles accurately and quickly. I thought of the idea of using rotating discs to move the Skittles to separate bins because it allowed me to make a more compact design.”

I can already hear you though: “What if I need to sort M&Ms and not Skittles? Is there no hope for me?”

Patience, my child.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.18.59 PMThe difficulty with using this machine for sorting M&Ms lies in the fact that M&Ms have six different colors while Skittles only have five. Rest assured, however, you are not about to be left in the unsorted wilderness. Phillip Ryals has created a candy sorting machine that not only can work with either of these sweet treats but can do it at the alarming rate of 80 pieces per minute.

Are these not amazing times in which we live?

If only grandmother were alive to see this, it would put to rest a question she asked me many times when I was a child: Why can we put a man on the moon, but we can’t make a machine using advanced additive manufacturing techniques that will allow me to free myself from the burden of individually determining candy-coated coloring in order to appropriately compartmentalize my sweets?

What do you think about this creation? Discuss in the 3D Printed Skittle Sorter forum thread on 3DPB.com.

[Source: Hackaday]
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