Autodesk® Moldflow® simulation tools can be used throughout the complete product development cycle: From the first plastic part design until production and troubleshooting at the injection molding machine.
Injection molding is extremely versatile. First of all the plastic part should comply with certain requirements. The mold needed to produce the part is required to meet a number of mechanical and thermal challenges. The plastic material demonstrates nonlinear behavior and numerous adjustments can be made to influence the molding process. Autodesk Moldflow software tools provide more insight into this complex system in which part, mold, material and process interact.
Ideally, the first simulations should be carried early in the development process. However, Moldflow has proved to be of great value later in the project as well, for example when decisions have to be made concerning mold design or during troubleshooting in production.
Autodesk Moldflow offers the widest range of simulation tools around injection molding. Basic simulations can be performed with the Autodesk Moldflow Adviser series, whereas more detailed analysis might require the higher-end Moldflow Insight. The common injection molding simulation tools are focusing on Flow, Cool and Warp issues.
A flow analysis answers the following questions: Will my part fill? Is there a risk for a short shot? Where will the weld lines and air traps be located? How many gates do I need to fill the part properly? A great example of a project where flow simulation played an important role is the development of the Philips PowerBalance Gen2. For such larger products with high esthetical and optical requirements, the plastic flow pattern is key. Simulations were done with different amount of gates and gate locations to reach a minimum of flow disturbances.
Injection molding economics depend directly on cycle times. Therefore it is always interesting to look for the thermal bottlenecks in the mold. This is done with help of a Moldflow cooling simulation. Furthermore, mold technology becomes more complex and divers: Rapid heat & cool, conductive heating and 3D printed mold inserts are gaining ground. But before applying these new tooling technologies, it is worthwhile to simulate their thermal behavior. In the example below, conformal cooling was applied. The thermal behavior of the mold can be studied throughout the cycle so that the effectiveness of the conformal cooling can be determined.
When your plastics part is ejected from the mold, shrinkage and warpage is often a concern. Moldflow can visualize these deflections and can identify the root cause behind the deformations. Together with our engineering competences in terms of part design, mold design, material knowledge and processing, Moldflow can assist in minimizing deflections and reaching dimensions within spec. An example of a Moldflow shrinkage and warpage analysis is shown below. Left animation shows an increased warpage due to a bad lid design. On the right side, the lid design was optimized to minimize warpage. (The outcome of the Moldflow warpage analysis was subsequently rendered in a CAD environment.)
Besides the common injection molding simulations, Moldflow can be used for related production processes like overmolding, gas-injection, injection-compression, foaming and processes in the thermoset area (like PU, epoxy & LSR).
Would you like to improve your chances of success using Autodesk Moldflow simulations? Then please contact us.