Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding


The purpose of this final design report is to detail the design, manufacturing, and testing of a bicycle powered compost cutter for use by the Captain Raymond Collin’s Elementary school. Students in the garden program are tired of manually chopping up garden waste into small enough pieces to be composted effectively. Project Sponsor and Master Gardener, Susan Deogracias had the idea to create a pedal powered compost cutter which would save time and improve moral for the aspiring gardeners.

This report details the ideation process the team went through in defining the compost cutting system. Engineering methods are documented for the selection, design, and synthesis of the appropriate drive train, support structure, safety systems, and cutting mechanism. Important steps within the manufacturing process for the project have been recorded, including problems that were encountered. Results from testing performed on the final product to ensure the objectives were met are also recorded and analyzed. An operations manual is provided in the Appendix for reference.

This “Cal Poly Compost Chomper” device successfully takes in garden waste and cuts it into compost. It is now in the hands of Captain Raymond Collin’s Elementary school and will be implemented by the garden program in the near future (circa 2017-2018 school year).