Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Engineering, Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems

First Advisor

Jay Shoemaker

Second Advisor

Dana Hammond


Traditional machined thermoforming molds are extremely expensive to produce. For small business owners who will have a very low volume of production this is not always a viable solution. To counteract this, the 3D thermoforming mold team strives to create a detailed manuscript complete with all the necessary information on how to produce a quality thermoforming mold through 3D printing. This manual will include information on producing a mold with parameters such as time to 3D print, type of printing materials, a cost analysis of producing the mold, and pre- and post-processing of the mold in preparation for production. The research conducted for this project was broken down into two topics. The first topic of research consisted of information solely on the process of thermoforming. This included topics such as material thicknesses generally used in the process, possible defects, and the importance of clamping mechanisms. The second topic was solely information on 3D printing and included information such as the availability of different 3D printing materials, typical settings used to produce quality parts, and pre- and post-processing that may be needed. Utilizing the knowledge of these two topics, a general guideline on the ideal behaviors of both the mold and the parts (to be) created was constructed. These guidelines serve as a basis for laboratory testing results which will determine if the usage of 3D printed molds are a viable solution for low-cost, low-volume production. In addition to the manual that will be produced, physical parts produced in the lab will also be presented and given to the sponsor to see the results first-hand. Any recommendations for improvement will be noted in the manual detailing the process.


Co-authored with:

ZeRajha Smith

Chris Frego

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

The 3D Thermo-Mold Manual.pdf (12500 kB)
The 3D Thermo-Mold Manual

Project Update 2022.pdf (1551 kB)
Project Update

Senior Design Poster.pdf (775 kB)
Design Poster