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Injection mold simulation has become a standard tool for molders and mold designers.
It takes just six steps with new software.
Software will adjust the shape to provide more uniform material thickness in the formed part
Seamless integration with CAD and FEA structural analysis is a common theme among the major software products.
"We tend to jump on things early," says John Kittredge. "F-K has been a pioneer in a number of things. Our earliest example was converting HDPE margarine tubs to ABS. After that we were a leader in thermoforming polypropylene, and then APET." Now it's PLA biopolymer.
Die buildup, also called die drool, die bleed, or plate-out, can plague any extrusion process.
New software that simulates the plastication phase of injection molding can be used to optimize screw design for a particular material and process condition or to determine the process conditions that yield the best melt quality with a given screw design and material.
In our August cover story, we incorrectly stated that Moldex 3D injection molding simulation software from CoreTech System Co. of Taiwan is represented exclusively in the U.S. by EPS Flowtek, Napierville, Ill.
The newest generation of 3D simulation software takes aim at screw designs as well as hot-runner, mold, and part design.
Blow molding has been one of the slowest processing sectors to adopt simulation software as a design and troubleshooting tool.
A twin-sheet thermoformed pallet uses PP foam as a plug assist that becomes the lightweight structural core.
Efforts have been made to simulate the extrusion blow molding process for at least a decade, but actual use has been slow to take hold.
NPE 2000 offered a brand-new option for processors and mold designers: the ability to “rent” flow analysis on a pay-per-use basis over the Internet.
Process simulation for thermoforming is still new and far from perfected. Yet a small but growing band of processors are discarding trial-and-error methods in favor of simulation as a shortcut to optimizing quality.