P17676: Vacuum Former


Project Summary Project Information

Vacuum forming is a manufacturing process in which a sheet of plastic is heated on a frame, stretched over top of a mold, and then pulled tightly over the mold using a vacuum so that the plastic take its shape. It is useful when trying to make multiple copies of a product from fairly inexpensive molds in a short amount of time. They can range from large automated machines used in industrial settings to a simple DIY project at home using a hair dryer and a shop vac.

During a previous senior design project, there was a need for a vacuum formed product to assist with the manufacture of a product that would be used in relief efforts in Haiti. There are two available vacuum formers on campus, however the size of the design created by the team prevented them from being able to use either of those formers. This forced the team to have to outsource their product off campus.

The primary goal of P17676 is to create another vacuum former option available on campus. Stored in the Construct Maker Space, the former will be able to accommodate larger sized sheets of plastic than the other two available. This will allow a wider selection of designs to be created by students on campus.

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Project Name
Vacuum Former
Project Number
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Chris Leibfried
Primary Customer
Mike Buffalin
The Construct
Sponsor (financial support)
MSD, $2,440

Team Members

Alicia, Luca, Nick R, Nick V, Steve

Alicia, Luca, Nick R, Nick V, Steve

Member Role Contact
Alicia Sutphin Schedule Manager ams5852@g.rit.edu
Luca Verdi Team Manager ldv6046@g.rit.edu
Nicholas Reed Edge Manager nxr7130@g.rit.edu
Nicholas VanderWeide Purchasing Manager nsv6828@g.rit.edu
Steven Henning Testing & Experiment Manager slh1594@g.rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation