Think designing an injection molded plastic part is easy? Try hitting up your favorite internet search engine with ‘guidelines for plastic part design’. You’ll find a litany of material on the subject. After about 20 minutes you’ll start to wonder ‘so if I can’t do this, and I certainly can’t do THAT’ what can I do???’
Still, you’re tasked with this project. You bury your head in the literature, and somehow you struggle your way through it. You modify your part so it has uniform wall thickness. You ensure it’s got ample draft. You adjust your ribs and fillets to be about half and one third of your nominal thickness, respectively. You’re good right? You followed all the directions in the literature, so your part is sure to come out right!
Instead you get back some twisted, warped result that only marginally resembles your design. What happened???
Effective plastic part design is often shrouded in mystery. It all too often still relies on the tribal knowledge of a plastics specialist who’s ‘been there and done that’. But what if my company doesn’t have that resource? What if there was a way to PREDICT the results of an injection mold flow procedure?
Enter SOLIDWORKS Plastics, a complete mold flow process simulation tool. Leveraging your existing SOLIDWORKS CAD data, we can quickly identify problems or defects as a result of the molding process, and correct them in the design phase!
We’ll just tell software what polymer we’ll use. It can figure out everything else. Yes, that even includes a suggested injection location! Of course, these parameters can be overridden for more experience plastic part designers too.
In just minutes, you can be looking at a flow pattern for your part. It allows you to identify air traps, weld lines, and even predict sink marks! It can also show locations of residual stress that would subject the part to that unsightly warpage.
SOLIDWORKS Plastics is a complete validation tool for both designers of plastic parts, and the molds used to create them.’
Be sure to Connect with Us, and stay tuned for part two of this blog. We’ll take a look at how simple it really is to use the software.
In the meantime, wanna see something REALLY cool? Check out our blog on How to Design a Plastic Living Hinge in SOLIDWORKS!