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Wedding Cake Topper Design

Wedding Cake Topper Design

Wedding Cake Topper Design

(OP)
OK, stop laughing, we're engineers here and as such the opportunity to design ANYTHING is exciting.

My wife-to-be is a Betty Boop freak and I am a Viking freak. Hence, the appropriate wedding cake topper would be, of course, a Viking next to Betty Boop.

No one makes these stock, and if I want it custom-made it'll cost $500.

What I'm considering is this: purchasing one of them action-figures that comes with Viking garb and a Betty Boop figure that comes with wedding garb. I'd have to either make or buy a tuxedo for the viking (keep the hat, beard, weapons, etc.).

Now, I've been informed by the caterer that what is most important in cake toppers is their weight. OK, that's easy enough, but a 12-inch action figure alongside an 8-inch Betty Boop will weigh in at a hefty pound and a half. That's too much of a load and we would sink into the cake.

What is the bearing capacity of wedding cake?

Should I go with a cardboard plate (problem of action figures being glued to the plate, stability, etc. are considered) or how about a pile foundation that would tie into the lower level's tiers? I'm inclined to the latter as I could mechnically fasten the piles to the figure's feet and most likely solve the stability problem as well.

Thoughts?

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding - hope all goes well!

I would attach the figures to a large base to distribute the load over a large area - no problems with 'settlement' into the cake.

You stability problem can be overcome by providing candle bases glued to the underside of the base, pushed in to the top tier of the cake.

Et voila!  A Boop / Viking cake.

Good luck!

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

I agree with the concept that a firm flat base to distribute the load is a good idea. Just one improvement that outer sides of the cake too need to be constrained so that cake does not 'flow' out horizontally. In marshy earth it is better to use sheet piles before you apply any load. The same concept applies here.

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Congrats on the wedding DV...
Since the last cake discussion was around Fruitcake, I suppose we can continue with a finer variety of cake!  Incidentally, the bearing capacity of fruitcake is at least 2ksf, though not so for wedding cake.

What about a fake top tier for the wedding cake?  Then your figures will bear on plastic or cardboard and the cake isn't an issue (assuming the transfer to lower tiers is adequate).  Just cover everything with icing and no one knows the difference.

Otherwise, large, stiff cardboard plate with figures glued to plate.

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Structural Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Cake Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Electrical Engineer....
Perhaps make the top layer out of fruitcake?

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Perhaps the world's premier Domestic Engineer can assist you.

Try www.marthastewart.com. ; I got this website from my wife.


Congrats on the wedding.

Blacksmith

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Congratulations DaveViking!

Lots of stress and stress-filled moments whent the cake is transported - unless, of course, it is topped at the hall.  Which I don't recall Moe, Larry or Curley doing at all.

Anyway I really wanted to chime in about the icing.  It seems to me that the icing transforms from something of a flowable mixture to a rather stiff concoction after some time.  Is it possible to exploit this property while supporting the hansome couple?

Blacksmith -- No one is going to believe you.  You've got that website bookmarked as one of your favorites!!

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Congratulations!  How about placing long spikes (pilings?) on the base of the topper.  They can pierce through the cake entirely and rest on the support plate that is holding the top layer of the cake.  The cake will only provide lateral support.  Due to the unbraced mutistory structure, the topper probably won't even be the weak link in resisting lateral forces.  At least it doesn't require much in the way of wind or seismic design, unless the wedding is a shakey proposition!  Sorry, I couldn't resist the opportunity.

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

The best wedding cake I have ever had was my own. It was butter poundcake. You should try it before making a decision. I'm not sure about it's bearing capacity though.

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

How about an ice cream wedding cake?  You cant go wrong with that.  Everybody likes ice cream cake.  As long as its frozen, the bearing capacity should be more than enough.
As for keeping it frozen while on display?  I have no idea.  Sonuds like a mechanical engineers dilema.  Maybe somthing like an ice hockey rink, but on a much smaller scale.

RE: Wedding Cake Topper Design

Dave,
  Congratulations on the wedding.

  Professional secret in the cake making business: they have plastic structures inside of them.  I suggest premade plastic columns that extend down to the table.  Typically, these are used for very tall cakes where each layer sits on its own plate supported by the columns.  These will serve your purpose nicely.  You can find these in most cake decoration shops.
  Alternative:  Most large cakes are made bunt style without a center.  It takes too long for the center to cook.  Also, most cake centers get wasted because of the difficulty in cutting.  I don't know how large your cake will be but you might have the baker bake each layer bunt style leaving the center ring in place.  Then use the ring as a thin walled tube section column with your BettyBoop/Viking as the column cap.

  Now, how do I know this?  In high school, my best friend's mother was a wedding cake decorator (actually she made all sorts of things with candy and chocolate).  Anyway, her son and I got the job of building the plastic structure.  We also got the job of primary builder on a multi-story chocolate house "she" made.

 Hey, maybe I should add that to my resume.  Structural design in steel, concrete, wood and chocolate.  

Imagineer

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