Publication Date

Fall 2022

Document Type

Final Report

Embargo Date


Problem Statement

This project aims to help Mary Ruppert-Stroescu with her zero-waste fashion project. The goal of this tool is to help Mary efficiently lay down fabric across a sheet of sticky paper to make a yard of reused fabric. The goal of our team was to create a machine that can work alongside Mary, rather than having her spend all her time at the machine. We wanted to make a machine that can work independently of Mary, so that she can focus her time on other things.

100s of lbs of fabric waste is part of American today. Mary's mission is to be able to reused used and unwanted fabric, and make it into a new article of clothing. Mary has created a multi-step process that allows her to take fabric scarps, and turn them into new yard of fabric. This process includes laying strips of fabric meticulously on a sticky backing that is then sewn together. The part that takes the most time for Mary, and what she considers the bottle-neck of her project, is that laying the fabric takes a lot of time. She would like an invention or tool that would aid her in laying fabric down faster.

Our team wanted to work outside of the box. Rather than just make a simple tape dispenser mechanism, we wanted to generate a fully autonomous machine that would lay fabric for her in many rows. This was done by making a metal frame, 3D printed components, electronics, and code to generate a machine similar to a CNC or 3D printer, that moves a head and lays fabric on the table.

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)