I was recently introduced to Soylent, an alternative method of consuming one’s nutritional needs. It involves mixing a carbohydrate (usually flour), protein powder, and several other dry ingredients, then pouring it in water when it is time to eat. With the right ingredients and the assistance of diy.soylent.me, it is possible to fulfill all of the nutritional needs of a human without going overboard on fats or salts like so many food eaters do every day.
My recipe contains approximately ten dry ingredients, ranging in granularity from table salt to fine cocoa powder. Each ingredient is weighed on a scale before adding to a sandwich bag for storage. The process of creating one 500-calorie meal takes me about 6 minutes per meal, even when I am making several at a time.
I was hoping to automate all of this. I saw someone’s video on Youtube of a “Cookie Perfection Machine”, and that is similar to what I want to do. The only problem with attempting to replicate a design like that is my lack of access to machining equipment required to produce metal parts. I can use hand tools and off-the-shelf parts from hardware stores and internet sites, but I can’t buy a CNC machine to make my own parts.
My design would not require a large rotating mechanism because it will only dispense dry ingredients. That means I can use a central funnel to send the ingredients to a scale. Everything can be stationary, which makes the design simpler. The only moving parts would have to be the mechanisms used to dispense the ingredients.
My biggest challenge and the reason for posting is that I am seeking advice on how to actually dispense the ingredients, given my lack of access to custom parts. Fitting electric motors to rotating devices will be a challenge without custom-made parts. For dispensing some ingredients, I was thinking an electric pepper grinder might work. That might be good for ingredients which only require less than ten grams per meal, but not for flour which requires 75 grams per meal. Any advice on components I could use to dispense ingredients to be weighed would be appreciated.
My goal is to spend less than $250 on parts, but if I have to spend up to $500, I can.