NWU student wins competition with electronic cupcake piper design

Johan Van Zyl -- Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:52

NWU student wins competition with electronic cupcake piper design

Brinco Neethling, an Engineering student at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU), won the  SAIEE National student competition for his design of an electronic cupcake piper. The South African Institute for Electronic Engineers (SAIEE) host this annual competition to give up and coming electronic engineers exposure and recognition.

Students are nominated by their various universities and get the opportunity to present their projects.

Neethling focused his project on a local home industry supplier who makes her living by baking and selling cupcakes. However, due to a stroke, she lost some of the dexterity in her fingers and is now unable to do the piping of the frosting. She was facing the possibility of losing her livelihood, until Neethling decided to find a solution.

Brinco Neethling designed an electronic cupcake piper. The piper dispenses icing onto a single prebaked cupcake in one of a number of pre-programmed patterns. It works with minimal user input and is therefore ideal for people with inhibited hand dexterity. The icing is dispensed through pressure extrusion and the movement of the platform controlled by a rotating platform and a moving extruder mechanism. It includes an LCD screen for information display and design selection.

Neethling commented: “The Engineering Faculty of the NWU sent out a truly capable group of engineers in 2016, the results of this competition is testimony to that. The support I received during this project from my lecturers, and specifically Dr Leenta Grobler, was tremendous and I can’t stress my gratitude towards them enough. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and my fellow graduates!” 

Brinco Neethling's design of an electronic cupcake piper.