The PancakeBot 2.0: A 3D Food Printer Reviewed:
Have you ever ordered pancakes in a restaurant and been slightly underwhelmed? Well actually no, neither had I until I had the opportunity to review the PancakeBot 2.0! The PancakeBot is the first 3D printer in the world that creates works of art using automatic batter dispensation. The batter is printed onto a griddle in stages and creates details via layers of batter that create shading. All you need to do is upload your designs via an SD card and you're good to go! It's the best way for adults and kids alike to explore cooking and creativity whilst being confident about using technology too.
If you're an ammeter in the kitchen and even worse at dealing with technology then have no fear! The interface is user friendly, however it may take you some time to get the hang of things. In order to create designs, you'll need to upload the free software to your computer and let your creative juices flow. Alternatively, you can upload designs from the PancakeBot website to the SD card provided which slots into your machine. Once you've decided on which design you want to create it's time for the 'Bot' to get to work. It's fun for kids of any age to enjoy playing with the settings to ensure optimum results that are (almost) too good to eat.
The machine is made from black plastic and measures 28.7 x 17.5 x 15 inches. It's super simple to assemble and dissemble meaning you can store it away easily and at 14 lbs you won't have to do any heavy lifting. Upon receiving the product, you'll find a gridle, the 'Bot', an SD card and the manual which you'll definitely need to make your pancake printing experience as stress free as possible. The griddle and bottle separate easily from the machine for quick and easy cleaning which our reviewers loved.
Some of our testers claimed that it takes time to get the batter consistency right. If the batter is too thick, more pressure needs to be applied in order to dispense it. Not understanding how much pressure is needed can hinder you achieving your desired results as if the batter doesn’t hit the gridle at the right time, your design won’t turn out as you intended. On the other hand, if the batter is too thick, it will pour out too quickly and flood any details you are trying to create. You are able to control the speed and pressure however getting the perfect mix of batter thickness, pressure and speed takes some getting used to. In addition, others were disappointed with the PancakeBot as they claimed that the pancakes weren't fluffy and light but rather thin and disappointing. It also takes a longer amount of time to print these pancakes than making regular ones so it's best not to experiment with an army of super hungry youngsters.
On the other hand, the majority of our testers claimed that they were happy that it was more than just a breakfast making tool. They loved that it was a great activity to pass time on a Saturday morning with their family instead of weather permitting fun like football practice. One reviewer even stated that the fact that the design doesn't always turn out perfectly first time worked to her advantage. She took great pleasure in seeing her children work together to tweak the design and cooperate to achieve exciting results time and time again.
The Bottom Line:
On the whole, we can't help but love this innovative product as it's great for day-to-day use, parties or any special occasion. Imagine your children surprising their grandparents with fun pancakes for breakfast that they worked hard to design. Saturday mornings don't get much better than that! As mentioned, you may need to play around with the settings before your design turns out perfectly and we would appreciate a few design tweaks to make the process quicker and less frustrating at times. It is however, a great lesson in teaching your children perseverance and fun through food and technology. At under $250 it's an investment in endless fun come rain or shine!