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Publication Date


First Advisor

Susannah Howe

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science




Rotomold, Mold, Rotation, Biaxial, Motion, Plastics, Even material, Hollow, Rotational molding of plastics, Machine design


The goal of this project was to design and manufacture a functioning rotomold machine for use in small scale rotomolding applications. The project was inspired by and has immediate application to the design clinic team project sponsored by Coleman School and the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center (CS/ESPC) to design baby dolls. A rotomold machine is a type of manufacturing equipment that uses a biaxial motion of a heated hollow mold to disperse material evenly around the walls of a mold, forming a hollow part. This manufacturing method is best used to produce hollow, seamless parts, of different sizes and shapes, with uniform wall thicknesses. I began this process by researching mold casting processes, their benefits, and their specific uses. This was beneficial in understanding what casting process was most useful to our design clinic project and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each process for making a certain product. After identifying the rotomolder as the best option, I was able to learn more deeply about the manufacturing process through a visit to Pelican Productions, South Deerfield MA. I then investigated and evaluated lower fidelity manufactured rotomold machines that previous engineers had implemented in order to replicate the process of a rotomold machine. Using these previous designs, I developed design considerations based on the needs of my primary client, Eric Jensen, from the Center of Design and Fabrication at Smith College. Based on these design requirements, I designed a 3D model in SolidWorks, using CAD files of materials from 80/ 20 and McMaster Carr. The design was constructed using the materials and verified using casts of baby doll heads from my design clinic project.

This report outlines the motivation for a customizable rotomold machine, the design requirements used to model the 3D design, the design process, comprehensive design development documentation including, sketches, drawings and final 3D CAD model along with the construction process. This design was then verified against design requirements, tested and was used in the manufacturing of all baby dolls for my design clinic project. Lastly, the rotomold machine is handed over to Eric Jensen in the CDF for future research and refinement.


2018 Shaneil Joy Lafayette. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use




27 pages : color illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (page 27)