Graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a Batchelors of Science in Electromechanical Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics, I needed some way to go out with a bang! So, naturally, I decided to decorate my cap. But I couldn’t do anything run-of-the-mill, this was my college graduation! I needed something more than duct tape and WD-40, I needed something way over the top.


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So, a thought process began. I had built my own 3D printer, so that became the tool of choice, I knew our caps were black, so gold PLA it was, but what to print? I thought about having a crank spin gears with numbers, so when they aligned they would spell something out. But that wasn’t exciting enough. Joking around, I suggested that I could make some sort of machine that would flip the tassel for me, and thus, the tassel-o-matic was born! Designed in a couple of hours on Wednesday, printed in about 24 hours total print time over Thursday and Friday, and snapped together for Saturday, the whole thing was designed in less time than it takes to flip your tassel from right to left.


The 4 bar linkage slides across the sloped surface, and swings the hook that the tassel is tied to around the corner of the cap. The assembly oscillates, driven by a set of bevel gears. The original intention for the design was to have the hook sweep the tassel across the corner, but this proved difficult to accomplish with such an early prototype, as no time for testing the hook shape was allowed, thus the tassel was tied to the hook in order to have the prototype function at the graduation ceremony.