Student Thermoformed Part Competition Rules and Entry Form

The purpose of the Freetech Plastics Student parts competition is to encourage College and University Industrial Design and Engineering Students to design and then manufacture a product using the Thermoforming Process.

This competition is designed to stimulate use of the thermoforming process in design and engineering schools. Each year, the Finalists have their entries judged at the annual Industrial Designers Society of America Conference.

The contest is judged by both Senior Industrial Designers, and Thermoforming experts. The prizes are awarded on both design creativity and best use of the Thermoforming Process. The awards are announced during the IDSA National conference in the design gallery.


Entry Form found below.

Deadline for Submissions









  • Part must be thermoformed using a student made tool on a thermoforming machine.
  • Handmade or hand draped parts will not be considered.
  • A picture of the mold and the forming machine used must accompany the submission.
  • Mold must be capable of producing at least 3 parts.
  • Parts must have been made during the current School year.
  • Parts will be judged on originality of design, as well as complexity and creative use of the thermoforming process.
  • Students must allow their part to be displayed at The International IDSA Conference.
  • When submitting your entry you will need to send an 11”x17 foam core display board with your part on the front and the mold and machine formed on the back, Per Example shown.      You should send an electronic version with your entry form
  • You must submit part by end of business July 15th 2019 at
    Freetech Plastics
    2211 Warm Springs Ct
    Fremont CA, 94539
    ATT: Student Parts Competition

Previous Winners

2018 First Place

Kris Tremain
Car Tray

Design Description

The idea for this design came from a problem I faced most days on my way to work in the morning.  I, much like many people don’t have time before work to eat breakfast at the table so I bring it in the car with me which is inconvenient and messy while driving.  I wanted to create something straightforward that would be relatively universal to use for anyone that drives to work.

The Car Tray is a device created to make eating on the go simpler, easier and cleaner.  Driving while eating is notoriously messy and distracting.  This device solves that problem with a sleek, easy to use design.  The Car Tray’s cylindrical base slides into the already existing cup holder of a car, while still leaving room for a cup through it’s hollow base.  The upper portion has a large indentation perfect for holding small meals.

2018 Second Place

Matthew Schultz
Solar Canteen

Design Description

A canteen designed for casual outdoor use, while considering the worst case scenario by allowing the user dirty water by turning the canteen into a solar still.  Using twin sheet thermoforming it is able to have a clear top and black bottom for absorbing sunlight.  The idea for it came from looking at outdoor survival techniques and seeing how I could simplify that into a product.

2018 Third Place

Bryson Feser

Design Description

I designed a storage case intended to hold vinyl LP’s but is essentially all-purpose.  I wanted to create something that was cost efficient, stackable (easty storability), protective for both weather and collisions, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing while sticking to the vintage/retro feel that surrounds the vinyl LP listening experience.  I was inspired to make this design because of my own search for convenient storage for my vinyls and I noticed that almost every option out there lacked many if not all of those traits.  I believe it’s a product that can sell, and with the more inexpensive and efficient thermoforming process, I believe the idea is a lucrative one.

2017 First Place

Jeff Pease
Shadow Clock

Design Description

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.

The Blume clock represents a history of time-telling technology. A combination sun-dial, analog clock, and digital technology, this timepiece creates visual interest unlike a 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 shadows, thus creating 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.

2017 Second Place

Brynn Wildenauer
Muse Acoustic Wall Tile

Design Description

Muse acoustic wall tile 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. Muse will enhance any location that suits a modern solution to sound and aesthetic. Connected by Bluetooth, you can control the mood of your space with a simple application on your smart phone. This product is versatile in size & shape to fit any interior setting.

2017 Third Place

Caleb Toft
Impact – Adjustable Suitcase Protector

Design Description

2015 First Place

Kevin Langer
Turtle Shower Caddy

2015 Second Place

Taylor Lane
“Pyxis” Picnic Box

2015 Third Place

David Charlier

2014 First Place

Jerrold Ancheta
Imprint Transradial Prosthesis

2014 Second Place

Madeline Freding
Reform Shelf System

2014 Third Place

Hanna Sicora
Aqua Caddy

2013 First Place

Benjamin Miller
LED Road Flare

2013 Second Place

Brian Erickson
Hard Shell First Responder Pack

2013 Third Place

Travis Poirier
Aqua Caddy

2011 First Place

Grayson Byrd
“Casper” Chair

2011 Second Place

Jerrold Ancheta
Bud Vase

2011 Third Place

Zheyan Hong
Rotatable Knee Board

2010 First Place

Carrianne Seger
Dog Crate

2010 Second Place

Brian Au
Table Top Vase

2011 Third Place

Steven Lan
Cargo Box