SOLIDWORKS Plastics: Dodging the Game of Trial-and-Error

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Uh, what? ‘I don’t know anything about Plastic’.except that maybe it’s supposed to be recycled and it should be BPA free. ‘Right?

What managers and owners don’t know is that Plastics isn’t taught in most Engineering schools. ‘It’s more of the secret underground Scientology sort of Engineering that very few know about, exclusively via experience, NOT a textbook. ‘The only thing most engineers know about plastics are the material properties and the atomic structure of plastics. ‘We know plastics through the perspective of an electron, maybe. ‘Useful. ‘How about knowing plastics through the perspective of, say, a human?

Now, all of a sudden, without any plastics knowledge, you’re expected to design a part in plastic and voila, out comes this perfect injection-molded plastic part.


Anyone who’s designed something in plastic knows the battle wounds. ‘You send your 3D model to the toolmaker, and he sends it back in 30 minutes and says ‘yeah, this isn’t actually MOLDABLE’. ‘So now he’s made a tool out of you. ‘You’re looking really great for that annual review already, right?

Then you get far enough to make the first prototype and when you open the box, you say, ‘Um, where’s the rest of my part? ‘What happened? ‘Did a rat eat it? ‘This is called a plastic ‘short shot’. ‘In fact you can’t even do a Google search on ‘plastic short shot examples’ because designers don’t share those. ‘They don’t even recycle those parts. ‘They are embarrassed.

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The laundry list of problems continues from warpage to costly mold rework to obscenely long delays in product development. ‘Every hiccup along the way sets you back in terms of budget and timeline. ‘The game of trial and error gets old quickly. ‘And then what? ‘Your competitor steals your business because they can get their product to market faster than you can. ‘Meanwhile, you’re just scrambling to make something work. ‘Before you know it, a 0.0% salary increase is in the horizon for you.

What if, what IF, you could see these design flaws beforehand? ‘What if you KNEW the part was moldable? What if you KNEW the part is going to be a short shot or warped or the cycle time was really high and volume was low, etc. ‘What if your company wasn’t relying on guesswork or experience but rather making decisions based on calculated predictions? If your Engineering forefathers had a utility available to them, don’t you think they would have used it? ‘I mean, there was never a Nostradamus of Plastics but now’.we kind of have one! ‘SOLIDWORKS Plastics!

Even better, what if this tool would allow you to not only design the part and dodge injection molding flaws, but also allow you to make improvements? Reduce waste, improve part quality and integrity, and increase production? ‘Why not repurpose those saved rework costs for something else?

Sometimes, I hear ‘Well, we don’t make that many plastic parts’ and that’s even MORE reason to have this tool. ‘You don’t design them often enough to build the experience to avoid design flaws.

The other big advantage with SOLIDWORKS Plastics is that you get to be in control! ‘You get to see what is happening before it happens. ‘Why should you wait and hope that the toolmaker knows what they’re doing? ‘Why rely on someone overseas whom you never met? ‘Why cross your fingers for a perfect part to arrive at your cubicle?

The good thing is that SOLIDWORKS Plastics does most of the work for you. ‘Your expertise isn’t injection molded plastics, and it shouldn’t have to be. ‘ I encourage you to contact your reseller and learn more about what this tool can do for your team. ‘One bad plastic part is enough to put your company under water. ‘See how SOLIDWORKS Plastics could have predicted the problem sooner and could have rescued you from a lot of rework and lost time.