Publication Date

Spring 2021

Document Type

Final Report

Embargo Date


Problem Statement

Sewing pins are small and hard to handle, and managing the pins can be very distracting (or painful) for a sewist. Our goal was to design a simple and easy sewing pin dispenser for a home sewist that can dispense small headed dressmaker pins. For our design to be a viable product, it would have to dispense pins very quickly, accurately, and safely. Additionally, it has to handle many pins at the same time so it does not have to be reloaded during use. Based on the design of a toothpick dispenser, our prototype small, lightweight, and portable device that manually dispenses pins quickly and easily. The pins are loaded onto a ramp with the head of the pin placed into a rut that guides the pin as it rolls down the ramp. The pins sit at the bottom of the ramp until the user presses down on the lifting mechanism. The lifting mechanism is held up by a spring, but when pressed it drops down to the ramp and allows exactly one pin to roll into a pin-sized slot. The spring then raises the lifter back up for easy selection of the pin by the user.

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)