P18433: Nicaragua Bottle Upcycling Product Design and Manufacturing
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Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Final Demo and Handoff

During this phase the team attempted to finish and test all subsystems individually and integrated into the final machine. At the end of the previous phase, only the electronics and heating required work for completion, while the structure and compression subsystems were completed and integrated. Testing with the full machine was to be completed and a final product was to be constructed using the three-piece mold. Recommendations for the continuation of this project would be based on the results of the full machine testing.

The team completed the construction of all subsystems and successfully integrated them into the final machine. Two full scale tests were completed, however, the results were not sufficient to accomplish the goals of the project. The resulting test samples did not fully melt as desired and as a result were not able to be vacuum formed into a building product shape. Suggestions for future design teams can be found below.

Our Final Design

Frame, Mold, Compression, Electrical, and Heaters Assembly

Frame, Mold, Compression, Electrical, and Heaters Assembly

The CAD files can be found here.

Test Results Summary

All visual tests passed including machine accepts mold, machine is within desired footprint size, and one mold has been created for use. The more involved tests involving melting tests were not able to run yet as some subsystems are still being integrated, including the electrical and heating.

Tests concerning the temperature of the machine were also completed, but results failed the criteria set by the team. The test required the mold to reach 250 Celsius, but the maximum temperature reached was approximately 150 C.

Tests concerning safety were completed and passed (area of exposed hot surfaces, gas released from the machine, etc.), but additional safety concerns that were not stated in the test plans or requirements, were identified. These can be seen below in the future recommendations.

Tests concerning the cycle time of the machine and variable inputs into the machine were not completed. These tests should be the focus of future teams after the recommended changes to the machine are made.

Our performance vs. engineering requirements can be foundhere.

The test results can be found here.

Images and video of the first and second full tests can be seen below.

1st Full Device Test

1st Full Device Test

1st Full Device Test

1st Full Device Test

1st Full Device Test

1st Full Device Test

Link to the first test video can be found here.

Link to second test video can be found here.

Risk and Problem Tracking

All remaining risks come from the machine not having the heat capacity required to fully melt all of the plastic in the mold. This lead to being unable to mitigate additional risks associated with the removal of the final product from the mold. The remaining risks should be a top consideration for future teams tasked with this project.
Risk Assessment Screenshot

Risk Assessment Screenshot

A working Risk Assessment file can be found here.

Risk Chart

Risk Chart

A working Problem Tracking file can be found here.

Problem Tracking Screenshot

Problem Tracking Screenshot

Feasibility: Economical, Market Analysis

Market Analysis

Market Analysis

Keep in mind these numbers will change now that vacuum forming has been added as an active step through the supply chain. You should make a new set of assumptions and run a new analysis to determine the required value per hour and how to get there. From our work with this market we can state with a high level of confidence that if you can generate anywhere in the ballpark of $1,000 per month you should be meeting requirements with ease. I would aim to maximize the number of products acquired from each vacuum molding process. As it will probably have greater returns if you produce 4 cups from 1 sheet of plastic than the single sheet of plastic. You will have to get creative with the product to be acquired from the vacuum former.

Final Project Documentation

Frame Drawing

Frame Drawing

Functional Demo Materials


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