DIY cotton candy machine

We've assembled a functional cotton candy machine. It works fine using both normal and brown sugar, flavoring can be added with crushed hard candy (or whatever you want as long as it is in powder form, water-based food coloring won't work because the sugar doesn't cottonify if moist).

Here you can find pictures from our first (and successful) attempt.

Materials:

We built our machine out of these:

  • Propane tank
  • suitable hand-held burner
  • tuna can, small
  • model airplane motor (we used AX2306)
  • model airplane ESC (speed controller, we used TGY Plush 10A)
  • RC receiver (we used simple HK 3Ch)
  • RC transmitter (we used TGY 9X
  • batteries/power supply for the motor
  • cast-iron vise
  • lots of tinfoil
  • cardboard box

RC receiver and transmitter can be replaced with PPM signal generating microcontroller (or Arduino) Optional:

  • chemistry stand
  • funnel

Assembly:

  • Eat the tuna. Wash can thoroughly.
  • Drill holes into the side of the can, we used 1mm drill and the holes were approx. 5 mm apart from eachother.
  • Drill hole for the motor axle through the middle of the bottom of the can.
  • Stick the axle through the can bottom and fasten securely.
  • Cover the inside of the cardboard box with tinfoil.
  • Wrap the vise in tinfoil too.
  • Fasten the motor into the vice securely (you do not want to get hit in the face by a hot spinning tuna can).
  • Attach remote control module and battery to motor.
  • Place into cardboard box.
  • Fasten the burner connected to the propane tank with the chemical stand so that it points inside of the tuna can from the top (you can hold it instead but you'll get tired).
  • Place the funnel (fastened by the chemical stand) above the can.

How to use it:

Turn on the burner, but be careful not to make it too hot, the sugar will caramellize and won't make cottony strands. Add two-three spoonfuls of sugar into the can, turn on the motor, and wait for the sugar to melt - strands of cotton candy will start appearing around the spinning can. Enjoy!

 
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