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U Can't Touch This… I Mean, Mold This - SOLIDWORKS Plastics

Vince Farrell

By Chris Ma

A while back, I kicked off this informational series on SOLIDWORKS Plastics with a blog article on why clamp force is an important factor when designing plastic parts. Afterwards, I presented a webinar about an analysis consulting project we worked on with one of our customers, Stamco Specialty Tool, where clamp tonnage was the main goal. If you weren't able to attend or would like to watch it again, the video is posted on our website here and the presentation slides are posted here.

To wrap this series up, I wanted to summarize the different places where clamp force values are reported in SOLIDWORKS Plastics, and which one you should be using for evaluating your design.

The first thing to know is that in SOLIDWORKS Plastics, clamp force is reported in the global x, y, and z directions. The clamp force direction that coincides with the direction the mold separates is the most common in your design consideration. For example, in my  project with Stamco, the mold separating direction was in the Y-direction, so I paid attention to the y-direction clamp force.

Let’s look at where these values can be found.

Report Text File

The report text file gets written during the solving process.

It can be found by right-clicking here in the Plastics Feature Tree:

SOLIDWORKS Plastics | Report Text File in the Feature Tree

Within that text file there will be a filling stage summary which will report the clamp force in the x, y, and z directions as well as the required injection pressure. It will look similar to this:

SOLIDWORKS Plastics | Information in the Report Text File

Results Summary

The results summary can be found by right-clicking here:

SOLIDWORKS Plastics | Results Summary in the Feature Tree

The FLOW tab appears once the results have been loaded (viewed at least once). This tab will show the clamping force in x, y, and z as well as the required injection pressure. The values here are actually being read off from the report text file I mentioned earlier.

SOLIDWORKS Plastics | Report Summary

X-Y Plot

The X-Y plot can be found in the Results section of the SOLIDWORKS Plastics Feature Tree by right-clicking here:

SOLIDWORKS Plastics | X-Y Plot in the Feature Tree]

This plot graphs different values (clamp force in x, y, and z, inlet pressure, inlet flow rate) as a function of time.

SOLIDWORKS Plastics | X-Y Plot

You may have noticed that in the report summary and report text file, the same clamp force value is reported but in the X-Y plot, it shows a slightly different number where the dashed line meets the graph. Why is this? For the results summary and report text file, the software is looking at where the dashed line meets the graph (in the X-Y plot), and rounds up to the next data point on the graph so that single reported values are conservative.

Before signing off, I’d like to thank Stamco Specialty Tool again for allowing us to share the details of their project with everyone. If you have any manufacturing needs, from machining and tooling to injection molding, be sure to check them out.

I hope everyone learned at least one new thing from this series on SOLIDWORKS Plastics. If you have further questions, comments, or a design validation need you would like us to look at, don’t hesitate to contact us at analysisservices@hawkridgesys.com or comment below. Remember to check out our blogs and YouTube channel for more articles and informative video tutorials!

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