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Taste the Rainbow

3D Printed Skittles Sorting Machine, Powered by Arduino

Picture of Hannah Augur
by Hannah Augur
Sep 10, 2015

Resolving perhaps the greatest challenge in the history of humankind — a 3D printed Skittles sorting machine for, um, sorting Skittles.

It’s a thorny conundrum that has tested some of the finest minds of our generation. How best to sort your Skittles? Why, with a 3D printed Skittles Sorting Machine, of course!

We have MrPrezident on Hackaday to thank for this most excellent invention. He explains that the machine was a “fun project as it has some unique challenges,” whilst allowing him to test the capabilities of his new 3D printer.

The process begins with “calibration skittles” that prep the machine for sorting. As the Skittles roll around the machine, they are scanned by the Arduino-powered color scanner and sorted into the appropriate slot.

Unfortunately, the waxy glare of the coating on each Skittles can sometimes prove problematic. To combat this, polarizing filters were placed both over the scanners and the LED that lights up the Skittle salad, making each color more readily scannable. This filter made such a huge difference, MrPrezident even added photos for comparison.

In theory, the Skittles Sorting Machine can also sort M&Ms (which frankly, we would declare HERESY of the highest order), but they are a bit smaller and tend to jam the mechanism. Candy fans will have to restrict themselves to Skittle sorting for the time being (as is right and proper).

Whether you want to impress your friends, or just save yourself the time when gobbling only green Skittles, this project is definitely worth your time. If you’re interested in making your own, check out this page for the Arduino source code.

The 3D printing community continues to surprise us with some truly novel applications. With so many awesome possibilities within easy reach, what would YOU choose to create? If anyone dares to suggest an M&M sorting machine, then clearly we can never be friends.


License: The text of "3D Printed Skittles Sorting Machine, Powered by Arduino" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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