Innovative Approaches

Freetech Plastics Awards $5,000 in Prizes to Student Competition Winners

$5,000 was up for grabs in the IDSA Materials and Processes Special Interest Section's Student Thermoformed Parts Competition. Judging by IDSA members took place at IDSA's International Design Conference 2017. Entries were reviewed for design creativity and best use of the thermoforming process. The top three winners earned cash prizes. It was a clean sweep for the University of Wisconsin-Stout!

"The 2017 Student Thermoformed Parts Competition had diverse, unique and innovative approaches to this molding process," says Richard Freeman, IDSA, CEO of Freetech Plastics. The chair of IDSA's Materials and Processes Special Interest Section traveled cross-country from Fremont, CA to Atlanta, GA to attend the conference and announce the winners in the Design Gallery. "It was fascinating to see how the contestants approached their concepts and then manufacture their products."

First place of $2,500 was awarded to Blume Wall Clock by Jeff Pease. "In my exploration of applications of thermoforming I began to look at everyday products that have had little development in the last number of years. Among my findings was the analog wall clock. I was then intrigued to create a visually striking design while keeping the manufacturing cost inexpensive. The Blume shadow clock is the result," explains Pease. He said Blume represents a history of time-telling technology. A combination of sun dial, analog clock and digital technology, the timepiece creates visual interest unlike any standard analog wall clock. "Experimenting with various methods to represent the clock hands, I came upon the idea of using two rings of sequential LEDs and a small post, which would cast two individual shadowscreating clock hands similar to a sun dial. Due to the properties of polystyrene and the thermoforming process, I was able to create a form inspired by and clean and fluid aesthetics."

Second place of $1,500 went to Muse Acoustic Wall Tiles by Brynn Wildenauer; S/IDSA. It provides acoustic properties to any space while also having an optional speaker system. "Utilizing thermoforming technology and 80 mil polystyrene plastic, Muse is an innovative solution to interior acoustic challenges. Looking at current acoustic products in the marketplace, there was a void. The opportunities were sound enhancement, sculptural integration and technology utilization," describes Wildenauer. "You can control the mood of your space with a simple app on your smart phone."

Third place of $1,000 was awarded to Impact Adjustable Suitcase Protector by Caleb Toft. All three students attend University of Wisconsin-Stout. Read more in UW-Stout News and WisBusiness.