I was looking at Scanlime’s( http://scanlime.org/) 3D Printed Vibrating Perler Bead Hopper: http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahdowty/5407791891/in/photostream/ and I was thinking how best to sort out the different color beads. I thought that if scanlime used one main hopper with the color sensor( http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahdowty/5447634276/ & http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8663 ) and one hopper for each color. There would need to be a way to put the bead in the correct hopper for each color. I was thinking that a rail and belt system like the X(maybe Y I don’t know) of a Reprap Mendel to move the main hopper/color sensor to the correct hopper. There would also need to be a tilting platform to drop the bead into the correct hopper for that color. I decided to make a 3d layout of my ideas.
Then I saw this photo( http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahdowty/5444740676/ ) and the description. “On the left, a sorting disc I’m testing. It mounts directly to a micro servo (press-fit onto the spline gear). It has a circular hole that can hold one bead while the robot examines its color, then at the proper time it can shuffle the bead off to one side or the other, to direct it toward the build surface or to a discard pile.” What bothered me was the, “…to direct it toward the build surface or to a discard pile.”” part. It seemes like an inefficient method to get the color you need.
I’ve posted my 3D layout files to Thingiverse: