Every injection mold build comes with some challenges that need solutions. The size of those challenges depends on the project and might be tied to the part design itself, the mold makers capabilities, the kind of press the mold will run on, the expectations that production fulfillment is putting on a mold, or a 1000 other technical factors and production expectation factors.
So how do you deal with challenges. Break down the project, clearly identify all the potential problem areas, and formulate solutions. If a problem can be solved with a simple part design change and that change doesn’t adversely affect the intended performance of the part, go with the simple fix. If a problem is more complicated like making a big mold fit in a small tonnage injection mold press then you need to work harder on mold design and closer with the customer to ensure you fully understand their goals. Great solutions for injection mold build problems require mold makers with experience and expertise who can formulate a plan of action quickly and confidently. What Moldex3D does, in so many ways, is dramatically enhance the experience and expertise of injection mold makers.
When you have been making molds for 35+ years you have seen it all. Your solutions to problems are based on technical knowledge, past experiences of mold builds that worked well (and not so well), and the use of software technologies. When advanced CAD came along it really changed the mold making world with vastly improved mold design speed, accuracy, and complexity. Before mold flow simulation software came, even with advanced CAD solutions it was mainly experience that was relied on to green light a mold build. But until you actually trialed that mold, to get the proof, it was all a best guess, even if that best guess was really, really good.
Fast forward to Moldex3D and any guessing, any unknowns are virtually removed from the equation completely. Mold flow analysis in DFM reports have been around for a while to be sure, but not like Moldex3D so I am skipping right to singing its praises. If you invest properly in Moldex3D, and I don’t just mean buying the software. If you invest in the engineering talent needed to fully unlock Moldex3D’s potential and the computer processing power required to fully leverage the combination of Moldex3D plus your engineering talent, then you are really on your way to the crystal ball solution of knowing exactly what parts will look like and how they will perform, before mold steel is even cut.
Moldex3D offers mold flow and many advanced analysis features that will help anyone more confidently green light investment in an injection mold tool. Features like mold flow analysis, pack analysis, cooling analysis, and surface defect predictions.
These mold flow simulation features produce highly valuable insights into your design and future production results at a high level of accuracy. But, when Moldex3D is included as a standard step in the mold makers mold design process, as an integral part of how to get from A to Z, then Moldex3D really begins to shine. The top 3 Moldex3D advantages I want to talk about are related to how using Moldex3D with any mold design will save you time, money, produce superior molds, and superior parts by qualifying designs early and by taking the risk out of the product development/mold making process.
Moldex3D identifies problems on the front end early – Here is our firsthand experience. We use Moldex3D, in conjunction with DFMPro as part of our standard mold design process. In about 80% of the mold build projects we undertake Moldex3D identifies design issues that a standard DFM cannot identify. It is more that the Moldex3D analysis of the part design within the mold will often identify not a part design manufacturability issue per se, but an issue with future part production related to part surface defects or part warpage or other seemingly unknowable production problems. Sometimes, at this very early stage, a small amendment to the part design itself can fix the issue, more often adjustment to the mold design can fix the potential problem. Either way, knowing early saves valuable time and money on the back end, and sometimes saves the whole project from a much more serious production issue.
A level 3 Moldex3D simulation is a virtual mold trial – When you set it up right (which takes a lot of work), the results from the simulation is like seeing first trial shots right on the screen. How do we qualify that statement? Practice. Moldex3D simulation results continue to match real world mold trial results that we perform with an astonishingly high degree of accuracy. Think about that. The risks, the unknowns, the problems, are all virtually taken out of the equation because Moldex3D confirms the design before we even think about cutting steel. Now, don’t get me wrong, you still need the experienced engineers, project managers, and mold makers to work with the client, gather data, analyze a design, and program Moldex3D before you can run a level 3 simulation and unlock the true power of Moldex3D, it is not a plug and play solution. But the risk mitigation with Moldex3D is incredible.
Often the single biggest hardware investments for any part or product are the injection molds. The uncertainty or not knowing the outcome of a large investment delays many projects and can significantly drive up the design qualification costs. Using Moldex3D helps to eliminate the uncertainty, the risks, the unknowns by qualifying the future, right now.
Moldex3D provides optimal production parameters – I am talking about the actual process on the injection mold press, the buttons you press to program your fill, pack, hold, open, eject, clamp…cycle time and production output. There are a couple of reasons why the parameters you get from Moldex3D are so valuable.
When Moldex3D tells us, “hey, this is the best cycle time you can achieve based on this mold design and the data you have inputted”, we listen. If the production output numbers don’t match what the expectations are then we can either adjust the design or mold…or adjust our expectations. Either way, before you cut steel you know what the real speed of your production mold will be up front. Think about how valuable that information is for sales, marketing, forecasting, the down line planning efficiencies and cost savings are enormous. Remember, you are learning all this information up front before you cut steel.
You can use the production parameters provided by Moldex3D to help qualify your offshore China mold maker. The reality is that if you don’t proactively discuss cycle time and production goals with your China supplier then it will never come up in conversation because they don’t think the way we do in the West when it comes to production output. The West wants cycle times that are as fast as possible to maximize efficiencies and a robust mold built to handle fast production. The typical China shop wants to make a mold as cheap as possible to get over the finish line and they will not trial your mold with the production parameters you want if you don’t distinctly qualify this point ahead of time. Learn more about that here. The real challenge with this point is finding China mold makers who have invested in Moldex3D, let alone know how to use it well.
Moldex3D is a time machine that goes to the future and reports back on your production results. The reports back may not always be pretty, but that is OK. you haven’t cut steel yet, you haven’t blown your budget on a mold design (or part design) that will be littered with back end issues, you now know the future and you still have time to adjust and fix future problems before mold steel is cut. Take the risk and uncertainty out of your product and mold building process, start including Moldex3D as a standard tool in your design process.