Project goal

The goal of this project is to create a name plate that is unique to us through vacuum forming.  This introductory project will prepare us in the future for other projects that require vacuum formed objects such as a Bird Feeder.  During the semester, these name plates will be used for displaying homework.

What is vacuum Forming?

Vacuum forming is the process in which a sheet of plastic is heated and then stretched onto a surface mold, and then forced against the mold through a vacuum.  This process is used to form permanent plastic objects such as cups and trays.


Music has played a very influential role in my life so I wanted to design a piece that would represent this.  I decided to design a pair of headphones as they are something I constantly wear and bring everywhere with me.  


For my initial process, I designed a CAD model of headphones in Solidworks and wanted to CNC cut them to create my mold.  After sketching my initial process and modeling the headphones, I realized that this option would not work very well for an object like headphones.  I needed to avoid undercutting so that when I did eventually vacuum form my mold, it would be easy to remove. After realizing that CNC cutting my CAD model would not lead to the desired result, I decided to make a plaster mold of a pair of headphones.  Through this process, I would have more control of what parts/pieces I wanted to implement and could avoid undercutting.




Clay molding


Clay Settling


Plaster Molding


For my final piece I ended up vacuum forming a cheap pair of headphones, and placed a circular piece of wood in the center to represent a human head.  This also got rid of any unwanted plastic irregularities that occurred in my previous attempts.