Want to make a yoyo professionally and don’t know how! Don’t worry as I will present you how to make a yoyo so that you are satisfied with your end result!
Maybe you just want to make a simple yoyo to just have fun with it. Let me show you how to do it!
How to make a DIY yoyo
This is the easiest method of all, but you get the worst results in terms of playability and spin.
You need two plastic bottle caps and you need a pointed screw to make a hole into the cap. Connect the two caps with the 1 inch pointed screw and use a plastic welding gun to fix the screw in place. Then you make two plastic discs to apply on the sides of the yoyo.
Eventually, you attach the string to the groove of the yoyo and play with it.
Just want to make your yoyo the professional way?
Here is how you do it!
It all starts out with designing the prototype. For this, you will need to use specific software to create the shape of the yoyo onto a computer. One notable example is the Autodesk Fusion 360 which allows you to freely create your yoyo concept.
The software is free if you have a firm that makes less than 100k per year or you are a hobbyist doing non-commercial projects. If you are a student you can have up to 3 years of free membership with all features included.
You need to take into account several aspects when you are designing your own yoyo model
- shape(if the yoyo is V-shape, H-shape or Butterfly Shape
- weight distribution(if you have more weight onto the rims or you have it more to the centre)
- gap width(have enough space for bearing when you design the axle of the yoyo)
The following found video will explain to you the design process:
Credit: Inside Engineering
After you have the project finished it is time to put it into practice. For this stage, you need to have more raw material: aluminium cylinders. From these aluminium cylinders, you will start to carve the final shape of the yoyo. The Cylinders look somewhat like this:
Next, you will need specialized machinery to hold your cylinder and spin it incredibly fast. In this time you start to use the tools available to carve in the exterior cup of the yoyo according to your project on the Autodesk application.
Make precise measurements in order to make the yoyo halves symmetrical and according to your plan. Any tiny error may cost you the whole aluminium cylinder used, so pay attention.
The process shown below works for wooden, polycarbonate and aluminium yoyos(the last one skip to around 5 minutes).Credit: Andy DuBuc.
When you are finished make sure that the weights of the yoyo halves are equal. Any imbalance can cause you problems as you throw the yoyo.
How to make a wooden yoyo
The first wooden yoyos were made out of chunks of maple. The process took a lot of time. The wood was dried in kilns (some kind of ovens) as the lumber should warp and shrink before the yoyo is carved out of the wooden pieces. Otherwise, the yoyo would crack while the yoyo was being used and the player wouldn’t be satisfied.
After the drying process of the lumber, the wood was cut down to the optimum size and put on a lathe. the block of would be spun and processed with a variety of chisels onto a yoyo.
The yoyo was applied wood stain solution or painted. The final process consisted of applying the lacquer/varnish onto the yoyo surface.
After that, the drills make a hole into each half of the yoyo and a steel axle is inserted through that drill spot. The process was finished by putting the bearing onto the axle.
Watch the video that I found on the internet below to see how it is done.
Credit: Phil Gershwin
Injection moulding method creates plastic yoyos
This applies to the manufacturing process of the plastic yoyos made of polycarbonate.
Each half of the yoyo is represented by two parts:
- The shell-the outer plastic part
- The disc -incorporated into the axle part
The manufacturing process involves 9 steps:
- It starts with the plastic pellets that go through a funnel that has electrically heated bands which increase the temperature of the plastic. As they go through the funnel, they become more liquid due to the increasing heat generated within the funnel system.
- As a result, the pellets melt evenly and completely. The liquid is pushed by a screw that makes the substance move into the pressure chamber until it reaches the moulding device through a gate.
- There are shapes of four discs and shells and they are connected by gates. The liquid plastic enters into the mould and the excess air is being removed through a valve, the entire mould is filled and the yoyo half has no imperfections or lack of material.
- Each shell and each disc is held for about 20 seconds, the halves being cooled down by water-filled tubes.
- Some modern yoyos don’t require a disc like the one shown below. Credit: Dunwoody College.
- The axles are made by a separate machine which cuts pieces of a specific length (8mm/10mm or more) from around metal cable.
- The mould releases the shells and discs and these are assembled together to make the halves. The shell and the disc are still hot and weld together and they will not release.
- The halves are sent to a hot stamper that consists of a tray with a cup-shaped space the yoyo half sits on. It is taken to a heated press and the machine feeds whatever logo the manufacturing company wants. On some modern yoyo, there may be found laser engravings which look especially cool on the polycarbonate yoyos.
- The axle is attached and the yoyo halves are set up with a mallet(wooden hammer). The worker gives some strokes to the yoyo assembly to fit the axle onto the yoyo hole designed for the axle. The yoyo halves are taken to an air press on which there is a tray with the cup shape of the yoyo half. A metal plate is put between the halves for adjusting the gap width(the width of the metal sheet=gap width). The halves are pushed against one another until the optimum distance is reached (the gap width. The press fires and it secures the two halves.
- Next, one string is attached to the yoyo being prepared for further packaging and shipping.
These were the methods for making a yoyo at home or in a factory. The DIY method is the easiest one by far but the most inefficient. The best option is to design your own yoyo from scratch and then process the aluminium cylinder.
If you have any ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments section!