Publication Date

Spring 2021

Document Type

Final Report

Embargo Date


Problem Statement

The aim of our project is to design and embody an automatic pin dispenser for our customer, Melanie, a recreational sewer. Namely, our pin dispenser design aims to address the need for sewers to safely receive and handle dressmaker pins with one hand whilst working with garments. We have identified three main performance goals for an automatic pins dispenser: Store at least 50 pins at a time, produce at least 1 pin every 2-3 seconds, and present at least 90% of all sorted pins in an upward orientation to the user. These performance goals were identified by interviewing our customer and researching current market products. In order to meet these performance goals, we have iterated through a mock-up, an initial prototype, and a final prototype. We have also supplemented and reinforced this physical product development with theoretical engineering models that have provided our team quantitative benchmarks for design performance and safety. Our final automatic pin dispenser design operates with a servo motor wheel that rotates a central pipe container, which is stabilized with a wooden board and four fastened roller wheels. This pipe container intakes, stores, and then sorts pins with magnetic strips. The dispenser then collects these sorted pins with a catcher at the front mouth of the pipe container, and presents the pins conveniently for the sewer to grab with two fingers. Our dispenser meets all of the performance goals, and therefore serves as a powerful tool for sewers who hope to simultaneously handle garments and dressmaker pins effectively.

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)