2019 Team20

Project Overview  |  Proof of Concept  |  Final Design  |  Fabrication  |  Testing and Results  |  Meet the Team  |  Acknowledgements

Project Overview

The purpose of this project is to create a system of planter boxes that can adjust in shape and size. In the current market there are no planter boxes that can adjust to certain sizes. This is beneficial because users can customize their garden to any amount of space necessary. Some of the design specifications for the modular planter system is to ensure that each component will not fail under the given loads. One safety requirement of the planter system is to be non-flammable. This will prevent fires from spreading to other areas. The design specifications are important because they guarantee the planter box will function properly.


Proof of Concept

Laria Co. is currently an independent business. Planter boxes are currently in competition with one another given that most of them offer the same functions; however, with the modular planter system giving the customer the option to customize their planter box, it should give Laira Co. an advantage to the other competitors in the planter box industry. To prepare as a team to enter the industry for planter boxes, Laira Co. has done their fair amount of research. The team has researched the current market for planter boxes, as well as researching the best type of material used to create the product. The main competitors of this products would be any other company that also produces planter boxes because the team would need to analyze how the companies distribute their products and the buying patterns of the customers. We would expect that the distribution and customers would be at peak during the spring and summer season because it would be ideal gardening weather during these times.

While developing the modular planter system proof of concept, Laira Co. focused on two primary aspects. The two main focuses were, the dovetail system that allows multiple units to be connected together and the removable walls. The connection system is important because it allows the user to create a desired size or shape. The walls must be strong enough to hold the pressure of the contents without yielding and be easily removable.

In order to test these two factors Laira Co. utilized two different resources. A Finite Element Analysis simulation was performed on dovetails and the walls of the planter, taking into consideration the pressure that may be caused by the contents and a Factor of Safety of 1.5. Along with the simulation a model was 3D printed. The model included two individual sides of the planter frame, two dovetails, and one removable wall. The two sides of the planter frame can be connected using the dovetails to prove that multiple units can be connected this way. The wall can be connected to the planter frame to prove that units can be segregated and unsegregated. These features give the product real world applications by providing consumers with a modular planter system.\


Final design

Laira Co. has decided to build a Modular Planter System for their senior capstone project. The purpose of the Modular Planter System is to allow its users to customize their own planter; to do so, the walls of the planter are easily removable so that the size and shape can be adjusted to the needs of the user. The Modular Planter System with be made up of a base with four removable walls. In the base there is a drainage system that will allow any excess water to drain so that the plant does not become oversaturated. The removable walls are connected to the base using a dovetail connection to ensure that the walls are secure and prevent water leakage through the walls. Laira Co. also designed a separate dovetail connection piece that has the ability to connect multiple base units of the Modular Planter System together so users can customize their planter to fit their planting needs. The purpose of Laira Co.’s capstone project is to provide the market with a planter that can be modified to meet the needs of each user. Laira Co. will make their Modular Planter System out of High-Density Polyethylene which will make the planter system durable, but also ecologically friendly. The Modular Planter System is ideal for indoor plants, but can be used for outdoor gardening as well. The Modular Planter System is designed to meet all the planting needs of the user.




Testing and Results



Meet the Team

Jagger Clowers

Jagger Clowers is a Mechanical Engineer in his final year of study at the University of Nevada, Reno. One of the most challenging faced in his academic career was the hovercraft project. The trials and tribulations of working in a random group and designing a hovercraft with limited engineering knowledge was difficult but he overcame it. Since, he’s developed a large skill asset including teamwork, communication, work ethic, planning, and many more positive attributes.  Jagger currently works at Server Technology. Hiis primary responsibilities include building SKUs and sending them to production on the assembly floor. As one who communicates directly with the assembly floor, he has extensive knowledge of the manufacturing process. Working under an engineer has provided Jagger with a great deal of learning opportunities.

Jagger is from Reno, Nevada and plans to pursue a Master’s degree after graduation in the spring. He hopes that with his Master’s he can study under a PE and eventually become one himself.




Jack Freda

Jack Freda has been involved with many engineering projects. One of the most challenging projects he worked on was to understand the function and to fix any problems with a process control machine. This machine used an assortment of devices to measure pressure, flow, level, and temperature. This machine did not get any use for years and needed to be fixed. This was a challenging project for Jack because he did not have any instructions on the machine, Jack completed this project successfully by utilizing different concepts he has learned in his engineering classes. Skills that Jack improved during his academic career was understanding circuits and other electronic components. Jack works at a manufacturing lab and it involves a lot of troubleshooting different circuits. Jack used what he learned in his circuits class to develop more efficient ways to troubleshoot. One of the biggest accomplishments Jack accomplished outside of school was understanding and fixing the process control machine. Jack was proud of this because his boss was able to use the machine for students to learn about pressure, flow, level, and temperature. An example of Jack using analytical techniques to find solutions was for a pneumatic system. Jacks co-worker did not have a pressure gauge and wanted to find the force at the end of a piston. Jack used spring force and other equations to accurately calculate the force that a piston was producing.

Jack is originally from Medford, Oregon. He moved to Reno, Nevada three years ago to go to school at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Current goals that Jack has is to complete school to get his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. The next step for Jack will be getting a Job after graduation and to enroll in Graduate school to work towards a Masters in Mechanical Engineering.


Nick Mastrion

Nicholas Mastrion is a senior level mechanical engineering student at the University of Nevada, Reno. Throughout his studies the most challenging engineering project that he faced was creating an autonomous hovercraft that could travel to the end of a table, stop, and come back without hitting any walls. During his academic career he has gained important engineering skills such technical problem solving, communication, time management, and work ethic. These skills can be applied throughout all aspects of life. Outside of school and work Nicholas has spent time volunteering at the ASPCA and Project 150. A recent example of Nicholas using analytical techniques to solve a problem is him changing the brake pads and rotors in his vehicle. Nicholas was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. His current goal is to graduate with a BSME in the spring of 2019 and find a job that will allow him to utilize this degree.





William Rizzuto

William Rizzuto is in his final year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. He was born and raised in Sparks, NV. During his time in school he has completed many difficult projects, with the most difficult being the hovercraft project his freshman year, in which he and a team of fellow first year students completed a semester long project of building a fully autonomous hovercraft. While studying Mechanical Engineering, William has developed skills in problem solving, analytical thinking, and a strong work ethic, along with many other attributes. William currently works as a Production Engineering Intern at Panasonic. Working at Panasonic, William is asked to apply his learned skills on a daily basis, while gaining valuable on the job work experience that he will take with him into his career. After graduation William plans to stay in the area and work as a full-time Production Engineer with Panasonic.





Kayla Tam

Kayla Tam has accomplished a position on the Dean’s list her freshman and sophomore year of college. She has endured numerous challenging engineering projects, however the Hovercraft project that she had to do her freshman year of college was her most challenging; over the course of a whole semester, she was grouped with three other beginning engineering students and they all had to work together to build a working hovercraft. Throughout her academic career, she has developed a few key engineering skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and perseverance in her courses. Outside of school and work, she is involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers and prides herself in helping club members build a concrete canoe and race it in Chico, California. An example of when she applied her analytical techniques was when she was working at an ice cream shop. One of the pipes became loose and started leaking water, but she was able to define the problem and fix the leaky pipe.

Kayla is from Reno, Nevada and her goals now once she graduates is to find a job involving her developed skills in mechanical engineering.