Vacuum Forming Workstation

Project Outline

This proposed project is to design and fabricate a vacuum forming machine. This vacuum forming workstation will make plastic guards (such as a chain guard) to protect key components of TTU's Mini Baja car from the harsh environments faced in every Mini Baja challenge. The guards will also serve as protection for bystanders who may be harmed in the event of a part failure. Finally, the guards will protect the operator from getting fingers or clothing stuck in moving components.

Defined Requirements

  • Take no more than three minutes to form a part (after pre-heating plastic sheeting)
  • Obtain the lowest voltage heating element that will provide the most consistent heat distribution
  • Be able to make all shapes and sizes of plastic parts
  • Make a plastic part as large as 1.25' x 3' x 0.5
  • Be a portable machine that can be easily moved
  • Be an easily used machine with a 90% reliability rate
  • Make plastic parts at a low cost (cost to include only plastic sheeting and electricity to run heater and pumping system)
  • Be able to form parts using various thicknesses of plastic materials
All projects must consider safety and material issues.



Chassis Assembly


Overview of Assembly


Conceptual Drawing


Photos on next page show steps in the building, testing and final stages of the project. Click on thumbnail photo for a larger view of the photo.

Student Team Members

  • Chris Abbott
  • Chris Bunn
  • Daniel Gibbs
  • Philip Plunk
  • Brandon Risko
  • Toby Worm
Department Links
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