P17676: Vacuum Former

Systems Design

Table of Contents

Team Vision for System-Level Design Phase

During this phase:

Functional Decomposition



Heater Pugh


Vacuum Pugh

Frame Design

Pricing Matrix

Concept Development

Single Heater Model

Single Heater 1
Single Heater 2
Single Heater 3

A single heater model still shows a significant temperature difference through the thickness of the plastic after 236 seconds.

After 235.6 seconds:

Double Heater Model

Double Heater 1
Double Heater 2
Double Heater 3
Double Heater 4
Double Heater 5

The double heater model shows a symmetric heat distribution after 236 seconds, the plastic is nearly the same temperature throughout.

After 235.6 seconds:

Feasibility: Prototyping, Analysis, Simulation

Heater Analysis

Two Heater

Tank Volume Analysis

Tank Volume Data
"Vacuum Pumps Explained." Vacuum Pumps Explained. Pierson Workholding, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2016. <http://www.vacuumchuck.com/vacuum-pumps-explained/>.

Concept Selection


Two system designs have been created, a single and a double heater model. In addition to the two designs, subsystem components can be swapped in or out. Considering all possible subsystems for our two designs, there are 18 possible combinations to chose from. Based on price, safety, quality, and other important factors, we've picked what we believe to be the best combination and design.

Our Top Pick

The design we would like to move forward with is a combination of:

As shown in our heat analysis of 1/4" plastic sheet, a double heater model produces a much more symmetric and uniform heat distribution through the plastic. The more uniformly the plastic is heated, the easier it will be to produce quality parts.

Although ceramic heaters are the highest quality of all our choices, the amount of quality they add is not equal to the financial expense they would add. The calrod heaters have more than enough quality for the purpose we hope to use them for.

In order to utilize the pre-exiting shop air, we have decided to use venturi air for our vacuum. A venturi will require little to no maintenance, as opposed to the electric pump, or shop vac options. Venturi is also the only choice that does not require power. This reduces use cost in the long term, as well as environmental impact.

Bill Of Materials With Associated Cost


Note: Any price listed without a dollar sign ($) next to it is an approximation, and has not yet been sourced to a vendor.

Plans for next phase

Updated Gantt Chart

Moving forward

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