Design of the Week: 3D Printed Croissant Machine
This week’s selection is the practical 3D Printed Croissant Machine, by Alexis Gabriel Ainouz, a.k.a. French Guy Cooking.
Ainouz, whose online handle is simply “Alex”, is the operator of a very popular YouTube channel focusing on, well, French cooking. His animated style and useful information has drawn almost 1M subscribers, who watch his weekly fun videos, including this one, where he designs and builds a 3D printed croissant machine.
But there’s something rather strange about Alex; he is an engineer who is tackling the cooking problem. Thus his videos almost always include some math or other conceptual solutions, written in marker pen on the door of his blue fridge. Alex calls this his “blue fridge theory”.
There’s something else that may surprise you. Alex’s kitchen where most of his video take place seems to be a curious mix of a workshop and actual kitchen. He uses cooking instruments interchangeably with shop tools. Once I watched an Alex video where he inspected Parisian croissant samples with a coping saw, for example. In his recent videos you will see a Prusa i3 in the background.
His scientific approach to cooking is quite interesting, but it sometimes leads him to problematic situations where his equipment is unable to perform the job. This happened during his “Croissant Series”, where he aspired to make the “perfect” croissant. His commercial dough press was not up to the job. So, what does an engineer in the kitchen do? He designs and builds his own, 3D printed croissant machine.
The video is quite amusing, and at the same time educational. Alex goes through the typical frustrating iterations of design in his journey to the perfect croissant machine, something we’ve all done when designing casual machines. It’s quite amusing when he partially builds the device and then realizes it cannot possibly work as he’s configured it. Back to the drawing board!
Designing a 3D Printed Croissant Machine
But in the end he achieves his dream and creates a highly functional dough press of the required dimensions.
Download 3D Printed Croissant Machine
Alex has published all the design files for free download in both Autodesk Fusion 360 and .STL formats on GitHub, in case you’d like to build one of these practical dough press machines. The links are at the bottom of the YouTube page.
While you’re watching Alex struggle with 3D modeling and printing, you will at the same time learn something about croissant-making. I recommend you watch the other videos in this series from Alex so you can see the entire sequence.
After watching Alex in other videos, it seems that separating kitchens and workshops as has been traditionally done may not be the best idea. By combining these two unlike disciplines together, Alex has developed a powerful platform for cooking.