My High School Senior Project on yoyos


Well, I am trying to do the absurd, and make an economically friendly aluminum throw.  I could use all of y’all’s help, so if you could, I would greatly appreciate it.  The rest is explained in my blog for this, here’s the link.



do you have to build it from scratch if you can use a used yoyo that you dont need and mess around with the gap and sides with sandpaper?


The flaw I see is that you’re looking for a production run for purposes of economy.

1: First, you’re barely putting in enough money for prototyping. You’re saving money by doing the CAD/CAM work on your own, that’s fine.

Ultimately, you don’t need to produce a single yoyo. What you need to do is work off theoretical numbers. Contact a machine shop that has the capability of producing what you want. See if they can give you costs. Use those numbers to check against your prototyping budget. Then, just assume it kicks butt.

Now, different types of aluminum have different properties and costs. I’m not into metal like that, I know enough to talk about it, nothing more. Working with the machine shop, you need to come up with materials(bearings, responses, axles in there too) and numbers so that gets you a price point per unit where average mark-up of 40% would come to a street price(or do you want an MSRP price or a list price)) that retails for approximately $60 before tax(as applicable) and shipping? What kind of total investment on your end would this take? We’re talking thousands of dollars perhaps in order to get the cost per unit and piece affordable enough. Plus, you’ll be buying bearings, axles and responses and axle mounts and stuff like that in bulk, which will drive those costs down. How much price differences does each aluminum alloy give you and what are the pros and cons of that material for your project?

It costs a lot of money to make something cheap sometimes. Small numbers don’t cater to discounts. Larger numbers do.

Some people around here can talk at greater length about the different aluminum alloys. So can machine shops.

I get the impression you intend to do the work yourself. You’re going to need a lathe. I don’t know much about this gear. Now you have to factor on what it will cost YOU to make it and the costs of raw materials and hardware to make the stuff. Now you have to justify costs for yourself vs outsourcing it to some place that can do it.

I’d say call One Drop or YYF as they machine their own yoyos. I bet someone there might be willing to talk to you at length about some of this stuff. The odds are One Drop might be able to advise you on this from the ground up. They could give your real world numbers based on their experiences and knowledge regarding exactly what you need done, at least in “big picture” kind of concepts.


thanks, studio, I was planning on making multpiles, but I will try to call one drop, as I can use all the help I can get.



When you say multiples do you mean like 20 or like 250-500? Because if you make only 20 as studio said you will probably lose money considering supplies, machining, prototyping, and the fact that someone has to buy it for it to be worth anything.


My thought process is that the work for this has already been done. What is needed is real world numbers. Why buy anything? Once you know what a prototype costs, then if you assume 2-5 additionals for refinement, and know your materials costs, you can figure out what material to use and how big of a run before you can get to a $60 sale price(which means YOUR price should be around $36 or so per completed unit).

The report should mostly talk about the process from concept to completion and be as detailed as it can be every step of the way.

Again, with companies like CLYW and One Drop who don’t pump them out like YYF, they can talk numbers easier. YYF, which makes larger numbers would also be a company I’d contact since they are working with different kinds of numbers(bigger), which will show how larger runs equate to lower individual costs.

Many companies won’t give exact numbers but they may be able to give you realistic numbers for doing your work with.