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Thermoplastic injection molding is a method for manufacturing high-volume parts with plastic materials. Due to its reliability and flexibility in design options, injection molding is used in many industries, including: packaging, consumer & electronics, automotive, medical, and many more.
The traditional thermoplastic injection molding process can be modified to include processes that help to enhance part quality and part design flexibility. Below are some examples:
Injection molding manufactures high quantities of parts, faster than other manufacturing methods (machining or 3D-printing). High accuracy and automated processes encourage identical part creation, promoting low labor costs. Customization allows flexibility in part design (ex. molded-in inserts) and material properties (ex. color, clarity, strength, & flexibility).
Part designers, mold engineers, and other manufacturing stakeholders can all run into their own challenges, which ultimately affect part quality, and they often need to work together to resolve if not caught in the early design stages.
Some examples of these challenges include material variations, weld lines, sink marks, warpage, long cycle times, and incomplete cavity filling.
Molding simulation can help designers and engineers to understand risks early in the design process, allowing the ability to address these before becoming fully invested. Simulation software gives engineers, mold makers, and other molding professionals accurate digital prototyping solutions, and help bring better products to market faster.
Moldflow simulation can be paired with other simulation tools, including mechanical stress, vibration, motion, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and Multiphysics, providing a fast, accurate, and innovative approach to solving the most challenging design problems.
Analyze fill patterns and effects of geometry & process setting changes, such as sink marks.
Investigate the causes of warpage, then examine options to minimize or correct part deflection.
Analyze and compare advanced materials for lightweighting efforts, such as with automotive components.
Predict part cooling efficiency. Experiment with advanced conformal cooling or induction heating before investing in costly molds.