Pig Push Toy

03/2018 - 04/2018

Design brief:
Design and fabricate a kinetic toy for children. it should, through some mechanical means, provide some enhanced action that is more than the direct outcome of the input energy. This action should have some level of performance to capture and hopefully hold the child’s attention. 

My design is a pig push toy. When it's pushed, the rotation of the wheels causes the legs to move, thus allowing the pig to "walk".

This is my third and final project for the IPD527 Industrial Design class at the University of Pennsylvania.

Adobe Illustrator

Hard Maple

Nomad 883 Desktop CNC
Table Saw
Band Saw

Bartley Gel Stain




I wanted to make an animal pull or push toy, so I did some research on the internet. After looking at hundreds of designs, I noticed an abundance of dogs, ducks, horses, elephants, turtles, and crocodiles, and a clear lack of pigs. So I decided to make a pig. 

I don't particularly like the image of putting an animal on a leash, and also want to direct the child to closely interact with the toy instead of dragging it around, so I decided to make a push toy instead of a pull toy. 


Sketch & CAD


I started the design process by drawing a rough sketch of the pig based on still images and youtube videos. Then I imported the sketch into Fusion 360, and created a 3D model based on the sketch. I defined all the joints in the model, and used motion study to verify that the mechanism worked correctly and was free of collisions.




Still feeling unsure the mechanism would work in real life, I decided to quickly make a rough MDF prototype. I laser cut the pieces out of 1/8" and 1/4" MDF sheets, and cut the various dowels to lengths on a band saw. I also wrapped the wheels in electrical tape to increase their friction. After seeing the prototyping working wonderfully, I felt much more confident about my design and more prepared to make the final hardwood version. 




I used the Nomad 883 desktop CNC to cut out all the small parts for this project. I have never done any serious CAM programming before, but the intuitive graphical interface in Fusion 360 made it very easy to get started. A total of 37 parts were made on the Nomad, including the legs, ears, wheels, cart, and various dowel caps. 

The main body is a little too big for the Nomad, so I decided to manually cut it on a band saw. In order to figure out the best way to use the wood blank, I scanned the grain, masked it with the body outline in Illustrator, and picked the orientation that looked the best. I then printed out the body outline together with all the holes that need to be drilled, and taped the sheet of paper to the wood blank. After marking out the location and depth for all the holes on all the surfaces, I drilled the holes and cut out the body shape on a band saw. 




The pig push toy features adjustable ears, inlay eyes, twine tail, and high friction wheels (ranger bands).