After always wanting my own Taffy Machine i one day decided that if i really wanted one i was going to have to make it myself. In 2012 i finally managed to scrape together enough time, money, and determination which resulted in a small DIY Taffy Machine using some modified and improvised plans from Make Magazine, some Laser-cut gears deigned in Inkscape, and an old plastic soap bucket. On my blog i nicknamed it the "Windfresh 200 Taffy Machine" because in my case it was a Windfresh brand soap bucket. Not all that creative i know, but i honestly didn't know what to call it.
While the original did work, and many people were impressed by it (and many others hoping to have help to build their own), i was always annoyed that the gears were big, posing a pinching hazard on the outside, and not easily obtained. Now in 2016 i have decided to fix these issues in Version 2, and publish easy design files for others to make. Now that i have a small 3d printer this is much easier this go around. Sorry the only photo i currently have of this actually making taffy are the old photos, but hopefully they are enough to convince you that this thing actually works.
Update Aug-1-18: i had the new internal gears break again, i need to try extruding them longer to take more stress.
Honestly any soap bucket or hard plastic trash can, or wood frame would work. I decided simpler was better in my case because sometimes I'm lazy, and that means i won't finish certain projects if i cant get parts or things made quickly. The soap bucket helped tremendously in this regard despite it not being perfectly square. My motto for the original was something along the lines of that it didn't need to be perfect as long as it was good enough and that it worked. And it was. Version 2 is only a minor tweaking of the original, mostly in the four scaled gears of my original 6" gear that i designed in Inkscape. But Yes, even this version could be improved upon, and i do look forward to seeing what improvements the OpenSource and Maker communities do with it! Please let me know how your versions turn out!
On the way up the canyon to Estes Park, Colorado there is a small candy store called "Sunny Jim's Candies". When i was young i always wanted to stop there for some of what i called "Licorice Taffy". Basically a black gooey blob that had the properties of taffy but with Licorice flavor. Now this store is sadly completely "sugar free" which is just awful. Therefore, i realizing that a Taffy Machine is not complete without a good Saltwater Taffy Recipe i hereby have included a free PDF copy of the original Sunny Jim's Cookbook published by the original "Mrs. Sunny Jim Walters (Edna Walters)! Enjoy!
Note:If you do not have solidworks, try checking out the free program eDrawings that can open and view 3D solidworks files!
Special thanks to Inkscape, Ubuntu Linux, Solidworks, BigBlueSaw.com, Aleph Objects (aka. the Lulzbot guys), bedtime4bonzos, the original RepRap project, and Make Magazine.