By Terence Woo
Just over a year ago, injection molding simulation was added to the SolidWorks repertoire with the launch of SolidWorks Plastics, available in Professional and Premium packages. Hawk Ridge Systems is now pleased to announce the release of SolidWorks Plastics Advanced. This new package adds to the functionality of the two existing versions. So what's the difference between Professional, Premium, and Advanced?
SolidWorks Plastics Professional enables plastic part designers to simulate how a part will fill and identify potential problems such as weld lines, sink marks, air traps, and short shots. The Premium version adds the ability for mold designers to create and analyze single-cavity, multi-cavity, and family mold layouts, including sprues, runners, and gates. You can balance runner systems and estimate cycle time, clamp tonnage, and shot size. The new Plastics Advanced package lets us take a look at two more aspects of injection molding.
First, warpage. Molded-in residual stresses caused by uneven shrinkage and cooling can cause part deformation. Of course, there are guidelines that can help you avoid warpage, such as using uniform wall thickness and reducing asymmetry. But how do you tell if you have been too ambitious? SolidWorks Plastics Advanced allows you to quantitatively predict warp so that you can make appropriate design changes. And in cases where you can’t avoid warpage entirely, counter-deformed geometry can be exported to help design a mold that will give you the result you want.
Second, cooling. You’re not just limited to refining your part design. A well-designed cooling system can greatly improve part quality and reduce cycle time. SolidWorks Plastics Advanced lets you create and analyze cooling lines, including features such as inserts, baffles, and bubblers. Conformal cooling can also be analyzed if you’re really looking to optimize your mold.
For more on the capabilities of SolidWorks Plastics Professional, Premium, and Advanced, check out the Product Matrix on our website.