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Michigan Technical University PrISM (mini)
Exhibit #4023
TypeSpecial Release
AxleTransaxle - Plastic
ConstructionMulti-piece aluminum
Diameter50 mm
Width27 mm
Weight71 gm
OwnerRick Brough

The PrISM yo-yo was a project by David Blondheim who was a student in the College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University.

From David:
"Late 90s, for whatever reason, yo-yos became extremely popular at my high school - I got into them and enjoyed playing with them. I went up to Michigan Tech in 2000, and ended up joining the PrISM enterprise my Sophomore year- since I really enjoyed manufacturing/making things. PrISM stood for Program in Integrated, Sustainable, Manufacturing. We working on different manufacturing projects for three years versus a one year senior design capstone. One of the things we did most years was come up with some "neat" product that we could sell on campus to raise funds for the group. Because we had access to a machine shop, and liked to play in there, I tossed out the idea of making a yo-yo (since I had a zillion strings and my 4-5 yo-yos I had from high school that still occasionally were used) and the group liked it. So we went off to design a yo-yo trying to maximize weights and forces to make a cool yo-yo that you couldn't get anywhere else.

I believe we did this either my Sophomore or Junior year, so it was either 2001-2002 or 2002-2003 school years. We made a bunch of these and sold them at multiple events throughout the year. On paper we made money for the organization, but it was mainly because our time to machine and assemble was free. It was fun because we got to use CNC Lathes and Vertical CNC Mills and play around in the machine shop like we wanted making something that was fun to play with. We played with different bearings/sleeves and other things to try making them spin longer... to be honest, I don't remember what we ended up with.

The story comes full circle because after I graduated I worked for a bunch of years at one company, and then changed jobs and started working at Mercury Marine. I was able to convince my boss at the time to have our plant fund some student projects, so I went looking for PrISM to find out they were merged with another student Enterprise and renamed AME (Advanced Metalworks Enterprise). For the last 4 or 5 years, I have been sponsoring projects with students in that enterprise and as a result have gotten a few key chains or bottle openers that they made as their fund-raisers."

Diameter: 50 mm
Width: 27 mm
Weight: 70.74 gm
Bearing: Low friction, nylon transaxle sleeve
Response: None
Material: 6061 aluminum
Manufacture: CNC VMC (Vertical Machining Center)

To see all mini yo-yos in this museum, in the left panel, click Exhibits.
In the right pane, in the Name/Model field, type mini, then click Browse.
Other Views
Side A face, large
PrISM Yo-Yo sheet

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Content by David W. Hall & Rick Brough