The injection molding technology we see today, which has invaluable applications to our daily lives, is actually centuries in the making. But one often not too talked about segment is just how mold designs have evolved.
Before the advent of computing technologies, mold bases were designed and crafted manually, which gave room for errors and inconsistencies. These all changed as innovation in computing led to the development of computer-aided-design (CAD) software packages.
In a bid to stay competitive, mold manufacturers use these 3D CAD programs to create mold designs that are precise in dimension to create products of the highest quality.
In this post, we explore how the ZW3D CAD program satisfies the diverse needs of mold designs.
What are the requirements of mold design?
In order to create plastic products of the highest quality, there are several requirements manufacturers have to consider in the creation of the mold, which covers a broad spectrum from the material selection of the mold that houses the liquefied plastic to the draft angle on the mold to allow for easy removal of the parts involved, especially during mass production.
While these requirements may be many, adhering to the most crucial ones could be the determinant for profitability for many companies carrying out mold design.
Here are a couple of fundamentals to consider during mold design:
1. Molding material selection
Besides the cost consideration, manufacturers need to determine which mold material would deliver the injected plastic product of choice. Some thermoplastics may not be compatible with material that make up mold cavities due to fundamental differences in physical and chemical properties. By selecting the mold material before injection molding takes place ensures that only compatible materials go together, which saves valuable time and resources.
A worthy recommendation during mold design is to factor a degree of tolerance into molded parts due to the common experience of shrinking resins. You can always use a tight or loose tolerance depending on the properties of the thermoplastic resin you intend to use.
3. Wall thickness
Thickness analysis for a mold verifies the manufacturability of product structure. The thickness of the mold is yet another factor that affects cost directly, so it is often a good idea to specify it when formulating the mold design. The thickness also influences the properties — thermal, mechanical, impact, etc. of the end product. Depending on the plastic products' end-use, the thickness adopted can vary, but it is often good practice to ensure that the thickness is uniform all around the mold.
4. Bosses and Gusset requirements
The Boss in a molded part helps provides points of appendage, while Gussets give support to items attached through a boss. Establishing the requirements of these parts during mold design; for example, the tolerance is very critical to ensuring the functionality and practicability of the final molded product.
5. Draft angle
It is now standard practice to define the draft angles in the molded parts, because as we mentioned earlier, it makes it easier to disengage the mold from the formed products. Straight-angled parts of the mold could affect the seamless release of mold thereby, interrupting the mass production process.
What benefits you stand to gain from using ZW3D CAD for mold design
Now that we have outlined some of the requirements to consider during mold design, it is essential to use a CAD package that recognizes these specifications as the physical drafting is hard to fulfill the requirement.
This is where ZW3D CAD comes into the picture! ZW3D is an all-in-one software package made to address the diverse needs of mold design. Everything from the intuitive UI to its easy-to-use library of molding tools focuses on producing realistic yet accurate designs.
Some of the features manufacturers and design alike stand to gain from using ZW3D CAD includes:
· Specialized Tools for product verification
Besides the vast libraries, ZW3D CAD also offers designers specialized tools that are proprietary to the software alone, which helps to create responsive and accurate designs. A notable one is the verification tool that includes; the Gaussian curvature, Draft checking, undercut analysis, and many more. These tools help verify the structure and quality of products, carry out mold analysis, and help effect correction present in the mold design, thereby improving its quality for manufacture.
· Fast Core-cavity Parting to Accelerate Mold Design
Using parting lines in mold design helps define the direction of mold opening for easy ejection during the injection process. ZW3D CAD gives designers the capacity to split any part (simple or complex) of the mold's core and cavity from an imperfect solid block at any instance, which helps to boost workflow and shorten the design time.
· Abundant Customizable Library of Mold Bases & Components with Different standards
ZW3D has an archive loaded with numerous mold bases for designers to choose from, all of which are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. These libraries are also of the standard required of mold bases across the globe, so designers can say goodbye to creating mold designs from scratch, saving time on the entire design process.
· Efficient Solutions for Complex Electrode Design
Electrode design is now next level with ZW3D, with tools and external plugins like Electrode Focus™ that ZW3D CAD supports. Designers can now create robust electrode geometry, edit and merge electrode drawings. The validation prowess of ZW3D also extends here as manufacturers can now validate electrode designs. Hence, enabling the creation of precision-based electrode designs.
· Excellent Time Saver for Reducing Cost
ZW3D acknowledges the need for speed in the design process, which is why the software is made to be very quick in execution. Everything from the fast software engine, to the intuitive interface and the non-solid mold parting without healing of ZW3D CAD, is to ensure ample time savings on cost evaluation when carrying out designs.
The features mentioned throughout the article are enough proof that ZW3D CAD caters to the diverse needs of mold designers, but this software takes it a step further, everything from the initial CAD design to the final machining process is robustly executed by ZW3D in an easy-to-use, yet functional environment.
ZW3D CAD is a product from veteran software maker ZWSOFT, who has dedicated the last two decades towards providing robust CAD modeling software and CAM solutions to consumers in over 90 countries around the globe.
For more information about their products and services, visit our website today.