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Yo-yo Design

Designed project during HS class

Licensed to Duncan Toy Company

Some nice things said about the project here and here

If you ever want to learn about the crazy yo-yo subculture, shoot me a note!

My yo-yo design, which I later licensed to the Duncan Toy Company, focuses on an innovative response design. This would allow for longer spin times and, ultimately, more tricks.

I designed this yo-yo as part of capstone pre-collegiate engineering class I took while I was a senior in high school. At that time, I was very interested in yo-yos - due to a series of unrelated, but obviously nerdy, events. I conducted online surveys, identifying responsiveness as the area that I wanted to focus my design. Once I settled on a design, I worked with experienced engineers to model the centrifuge clutch design. I prototyped the yo-yo using a 3D printer and playing hooky to go to a local machine shop. I filed a provisional patent with the help of my mother (yes, my mom) who worked in the patent office when she was a young engineer. I talked to manufacturers to identify tooling and unit cost which I rolled into a business proposal that I sent to several manufactures. The Duncan Toy Company was interested and had me out to pitch the yo-yo – eventually we signed a licensing agreement.

Yo-yo response is the term for the method with which the yo-yo is returned to your hand. The yo-yo is able to climb the string back to your hand by friction. But the friction slows down a yo-yo, hurting spin time – an important measure for the number tricks that be preformed during a single throw. Phew, a lot of yo-yo jargon. Essentially, you need friction to return the yo-yo, but it hurts you – my design hinged on this relationship.

This experience set me on a path to where I am today. It showed me the value of working together with other, smarter people. It really got me hooked on product development.

Click to enlarge photos and learn more.