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Plastic is a pliable material that can be molded into many complex shapes and patterns. Easier said than done, right?
Accurately injecting liquefied plastic materials into a mold, perfecting the solidification process and effectively ejecting the molded part can at times seem like a lot more luck and magic than science. Instead of living on a prayer, applying some guesswork, using old-school intuition or even outsourcing, by executing the right mix of processes and science you can create some magically accurate plastic parts and become your very own in-house mold-injection mastermind!
Outsourcing the work can feel like it takes the burden off of you, but moldmakers still need to test prototypes and validate the performance. This adds more time and cost to the process, and if manufacturing runs into an issue, which happens frequently, the mold needs to be reworked. With molds ranging in cost from $10,000 to more than $1 million, mold rework is a costly and time-consuming proposition.
Does this traditional plastic part development process (below) look familiar to you?
It’s time to take matters into your own hands to create fast, accurate injection-mold designs and send only the best ones to prototyping. We all know that challenges will arise throughout the process. That’s the nature and beauty of design. Creating a better world around us through collaboration, innovation and constantly improving upon what already exists. Here’s how you can alleviate the challenges that cause frustrating cycles of design change, lead time and an abrupt increase in cost associated with this traditional model.
Each team has a unique concentration. The design team cares about aesthetics, form, fit and function, moldmakers focus is on producing acceptable parts and manufacturing wants a smooth and seamless process. The good news is that each of these unique concerns can be addressed and answered.
Optimizing Plastic Part Design
Detecting faults in design and ensuring manufacturability early in the design process will allow designers to consistently deliver designs that don’t require rework and modifications. This is accomplished through a deep understanding of how the mold will fill, whether there are any air traps or voids and where parting/weld lines will be. This shifts the design team’s focus to a more functional and aesthetically pleasing deliverable versus pushing out an over-designed and rushed concept.
Moldmaking Made Easy
Performing prototype mold iterations virtually provides a safe (and cost-effective) environment that allows you to accurately:
- Create and analyze single-cavity, multi-cavity and family mold layouts (including sprues, runners and gates)
- Determine maximum injection pressure requirements and machine size
- Balance runner systems
- Estimate cycle time, clamp tonnage and shot size
Running all of these tests virtually allows for optimized feed system design, reduced costly mold rework and greater efficiency toward delivering affordable, high-quality tooling than is possible through traditional means.
Predict what’s going on inside the mold outside of the physical world.
- Design and analyze simple or complex mold cooling line layouts
- Optimize cooling system design to minimize cycle times and decrease manufacturing costs
- Optimize part geometry, mold design, material selection and processing parameters to reduce or eliminate molded part warpage
Running these advanced simulations virtually provides you with the computational data needed to justify the changes that will save your company time and money!
This enhanced process not only keeps all teams up-to-date on projects, it also yields accurate designs, a more efficient workflow, times savings and reduced costs.
Whether you are a part designer, a moldmaker, or an injection-molding manufacturing professional, this technology will provide you with the data needed to consistently add value to your organization’s success and become a mold-injection mastermind!
Read the full white paper here and explore the SOLIDWORKS Plastics Get Tested library today:
- Short Video: Identify Deformations Before Manufacturing
- Short Video: Design Better Parts with SOLIDWORKS Plastics
- White Paper: Why Choose SOLIDWORKS Plastics?
- White Paper: Adding Advanced Virtual Testing Capabilities to Your Design Workflow
- Presentation: Best Practices for Optimizing Plastic Part Designs