2019 Team15

Project Overview  |  Proof of Concept  |  Final Design  |  Fabrication  |  Testing and Results  |  Meet the Team  |  Acknowledgements

Project Overview

Traditional crafts such as sewing, weaving, and knitting have a thriving community of craftspeople, and surprisingly, there are still technical problems that need to be solved. For example, one problem is the even winding of bobbins, a seemingly simple task that we feel that we can improve the current method by fusing aspects of existing fiber tools into a new device. The small scale crafts person has many devices from which to choose that wind bobbins, but none are perfectly optimized to maximize fiber storage, safety, and device value. Our WonderWinder will link a translational motion component and a rotational motion component into one providing consistent spooling and allowing for maximum fiber storage. Craftspeople, using a variety of fiber types which vary from thread to bulky yarn, will all be able to safely use the WonderWinder to improve efficiency and reduce unwanted headaches and injuries. Cottage industry craftspeople need reliable equipment just as much as the largest corporations that manufacture and produce fiber based products. Our iteration of the bobbin winders will decrease the required time to operate while improving safety for small scale production workshops.

The intended uses of the WonderWinder are as follows: the product is to be designed to evenly wind thread either by hand crank or by the operation of a powered motor. The system must be able to accept all sizes of thread from ultra-fine threads up through wire that would be used in the electronics industry. Intended users are but not limited to hobbyists, Cottage workshops, and small scale manufacturers. The product’s intended use environment is indoors and under controlled conditions. The product may not be intended for long term use and may wear over time.


Proof of Concept

The primary industry related to the WonderWinder is textiles. There are several manufacturers of equipment geared toward hobbyist, artists, and small scale manufacturers. Our main competitors are Schacht Spindle Company, Glimakra USA, and Majacraft, which all manufacture a large selection of fiber processing and textile equipment. The various manufacturers tend to have similar pricing for similar products, the main differences between competitor’s products are aesthetic. Local organizations of textile enthusiasts often hold conventions, at which equipment manufacturers may market their products, These gatherings seem like an ideal point of entry for marketing the WonderWinder. In addition, journals such as Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot Magazine and SpinOff Magazine sell advertising space that is widely seen in the industry. As with many other industries, most retail purchases occur over the internet. Even manufacturers of a limited number of specialty items such as Woolee Winder have found success selling online only. Equipment purchases tend to occur in winter in preparation for wool harvesting in the early spring, or as holiday gifts.

Team Magic Assembly undertook to present a mechanism for evenly winding fiber onto a bobbin that would be useful to various crafts people. The design concept calls for a level wind screw linked to two pulleys, of which one is directly operated by hand. The SolidWorks model provides a visualization of how these components work together to easily and evenly wind a bobbin.

The Proof-of-Concept Test Plan for Team Magical Assembly includes a SolidWorks model that was drawn up in order to demonstrate fully the concept purpose, with a full parts drawing illustrated in Figure 1. The assembled part can be viewed in more detail within Figure 2.  The purpose of the concept model is to demonstrate that fiber will wind properly on the bobbin and the design concept will minimize any fiber stresses. The test plan is also designed to show that the design will have a small footprint, capable of filling the bobbin consistently at 10 threads per 25 mm. During operation, the output torque will be less than the breaking strength of the thread, and the product will conform to tolerancing specifications. An animation of the key moving parts, shown in Figure 3, demonstrates the rotation of the pulleys and bobbin, and the eyelet on the self reversing portion of its travel along the bobbin.

Fig. 1: Blown out assembly drawing of the WonderWinder

Fig. 2: Proof of Concept SolidWorks Model – Fully Assembled

Fig. 3: Proof of concept showing driving mechanisms animated in SolidWorks


Final design

The WonderWinder is a device which assists crafts people with fiber management. For example, sewists and weavers need to use fiber on certain bobbins, while the fiber is commonly purchased or produced in bulk.The product design specification calls for a mechanism that both neatly and completely fills up a bobbin from bulk fiber storage, without damaging the fiber or harming the user, and is affordable and easy for a hobbyist or mall manufacturer to use. The WonderWinder will automatically evenly wind fiber when the handle is cranked while protecting the users from the mechanism. A key component of our design is a level wind mechanism that provides for winding of fibers up to 2.5mm without overlap along the bobbin. Another key component is the clear acrylic machine guard which completely encloses the mechanism except for the crank handle, yet allows users to monitor the progress of the bobbin winding, and also serves as a storage box. Machined aluminum components provide an upscale look and precise movement. The WonderWinder will be useful in many types of crafts to increase the speed and accuracy of spool and bobbin winding.

Fig. 1: 3-Dimensional SolidWorks model of complete WonderWinder assembly




The WonderWinder has been modeled from the very beginning of the process in SolidWorks with machinability in mind. Once SolidWorks motion studies assured that the mechanism would work, the 3D models were transferred to the machinist, who generated g-code. The majority of the mechanism parts were machined out of cast aluminum. The level wind screw is machined on a 4-axis mill out of steel. Metal parts are to be joined using standard threaded fasteners. Acrylic guard parts were cut on a laser cutter and will be joined using solvent glue. Additional small parts such as the bobbin stopper were fabricated on the 3D printer.

Fig. 1: The beginning of the process:

3-Dimensional SolidWorks model of complete WonderWinder assembly

Fig. 2: Fabrication: Generate G-Code and machine metal parts

Fig. 3: Fabrication: Create Vector drawing and laser cut guard parts

Fig. 4: WonderWinder parts ready for assembly




Testing and Results



Meet the Team

Cate Bryson

I am from Northern California, by way of Elko, NV. Before I transferred to UNR, I worked in the Carlin Trend. To date, the most challenging engineering projects I have been involved with have been at the mines. For example, rebuilding cone crushers was a routine task that involved substantial safety risk. In the past, the risk was ignored, but employee-led safety programs highlighted the need for safety improvements. I was part of the team that redesigned safety procedures including redesigning the building to let a crane outside the building lift heavy parts through the roof, adding personnel safety barriers near open holes to prevent falls, designing and installing anchor points for fall protection horizontal life lines where other protective devices could not be used, and training workers to use safer procedures when rebuilding the cone crushers. I have gained additional experience at the local electric utility, serving as an intern in Gas Engineering, Renewables, and Substation Construction. After graduation, I intend to return to heavy industry, either in power generation, a mine, or working for an industrial equipment manufacturer.



James Dickson

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, I held interest towards engineering topics from a young age. My foundation of engineering knowledge formally started in high school, where I took a major in engineering. I learned Autodesk Inventor and gained more engineering-focused knowledge there, and it led me to continue that education in the mechanical engineering field. Throughout my college career, the knowledge I have developed the most and am continuing to improve upon include mechanical design and manufacturing topics, as well as knowledge in SolidWorks and Matlab. One of the more challenging engineering projects I’ve been closely involved in would be in ENGR 100’s hovercraft project. Due to my limitations of focusing on conceptual knowledge in high school, building a tangible object was slightly challenging at the start, but became more manageable with proper analysis and adjustment. Using the engineering knowledge I gained from the first couple years at UNR, I became more capable of identifying some engineering-related problems in the home, motivated to better assist my disabled parents. Under the Manufacturing Quality minor at UNR, I intend to further my knowledge of manufacturing, as well learning more about operational management. After graduation, I intend to pursue a career in mechanical engineering design or the manufacturing field.


Jasmine Hix

I am from the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area) in California. I came to UNR as a first-year freshman student. The most challenging engineering project to date was the hovercraft project that was assigned in ENGR 100 during my freshman year. The team that I worked with dealt with weight distribution issues, as well as issues developing effective stabilizers. I have developed and worked to improve skills in the software programs Matlab, LabView, and Multisim. I recently tested and achieved certification in the computer-aided design program SolidWorks. While in high school, I interned at the research and development department of Generon IGS in Pittsburg, California. As an intern, I made and tested experimental polymer for their air filtration systems; the tests that I conducted included heat flash tests, high pressure tests, as well as titration tests. After I graduate, I plan on working for a company as a mechanical engineer doing product design, or as an engineer working in manufacturing or project management. I look forward to acquiring more hands-on experience and skills in the mechanical engineering field.




Gretchen Hoffman

I was born and raised on a 20-acre farm in Delano, MN, which is 40 minutes west of Minneapolis. Engineering has always fascinated me, which led me to pursue studies at UNR. One of the most challenging and learning based projects I have worked on while in school was the Lego Mindstorm Robotics minefield challenge in ME 151. This task covered mechanical engineering building basics, programming, and a lot of brainstorming and analysis. It was during this class that I developed a passion for robotics. Through further studies throughout my four years at UNR, I have improved my skills in programming, mechanical design, troubleshooting, and manufacturing / fabrication. This had led me to the workforce via two internships. My first internship was in Facilities Engineering with Lidl US, which is a german grocery chain with over 11,000 stores in Europe. I worked in their Arlington, VA office and was responsible for tasks involving all the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and general maintenance for all 53 U.S. locations. Currently, I am a Technician Intern on the Model 3 Drive Unit Line at Tesla in Sparks, NV. I have been learning PLC Logic, how to rebuild toolings, tips for troubleshooting machinery, and how to run the Human Machine Interface (HMI) software for the manufacturing line. In the future, I plan to work in manufacturing – specializing in robotics and automation.



Joel King

I was born in Sacramento California and raised in Carson City Nevada. During my last two years of high school my father opened a family business where I was given many opportunities to learn manufacturing processes and design. After my father’s company, Metal Solutions LLC., closed in October of 2009 it left me with over seven years of manufacturing and mechanical engineering experience. Armed with this knowledge I pursued a work opportunity at Bruce Aerospace where I helped design lighting systems for the aerospace industry. After being laid off from Bruce Aerospace in 2011 I began my school career in spring of the following year. Thus leading to today where I attend classes at UNR and work as an Engineering Intern at Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems.


I have had many opportunities before starting college to work on design teams for a number of companies that manufactured their products at Metal Solutions LLC. These projects range From small items for companies such as Parker Hannifin to large scale projects for the Aerospace industry and are classified. In all the projects the hardest was helping develop the prototypes for the Green Machine for Electratherm Systems in 2008. The reasoning for this difficulty was I lacked the Engineering mathematical Knowledge that I possess today. My current employment has proven to me the concepts that I have learned in school to be vindicated where i have used theories that were learned in school to fix a problem to a real life issue on our production lines. As for my goals after school I plan to go back to work full time as part of the current workforce.