How Do You Make a Pillow Out of Popsicle Sticks?- Jordan Reed

Greetings, Jordan from Vertabend here. I know, that title sounds like the intro to a bad joke, but it’s really what we had to deal with this week. As you may know, we have been working on our prototype since Tuesday. We ordered our materials a while back, and were hoping to make a full sized prototype with materials that we’d likely use for the end product (with the exception of inevitable modifications), but this week rolled around and the only thing we’d received was our firm foam neck roll. This was disappointing to say the least, but Karrie and I rolled with it, deciding to instead make a representative non functioning prototype at a 1/4 scale. This turned out to be a mix of fun and frustration. Personally I am so happy to be back to some hands on activity; I have really missed that while we’ve been researching and typing.

Step 1ish
Original picture



Our final product was made of popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, tape, card stock, poly fiber, a plastic roll, and some thin mostly white fabric we found. The biggest pain was creating the thing to scale, because its skeleton is pipe cleaners, which are not exactly known for their stability. That’s where the popsicle sticks came in, as you can see in the image below.

Step 2ish
Original picture


Those were a pain because we (Karrie and I) cut off the rounded ends so there wouldn’t be any protrusions from the sides and so we could easily cover the sides with paper, and apparently popsicle sticks love to splinter and turn into shards.We dealt with that by being extremely careful (seriously, I can’t believe no one cut themselves or even got a splinter!) and retrying on multiple occasions.

Step 3ish
Original Picture

I think it turned out to be quite fabulous, considering the circumstances. That said, I am really waiting to build the real thing next semester, and taking it home to test it will be really interesting. While us engineers were doing that our buddies, the bio medical kiddos, have been (once again) researching, as well as putting together our midterm presentation. We will be presenting our ideas to some people from outside of the school for our midterm grade, and I am nervocited (an unhealthy cross of nervous and excited).

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