Have you needed to specify an injection location at a specific XY location in SOLIDWORKS Plastics, but weren’t sure how? Or, have you created multiple Plastics studies and needed to add injection locations multiple times? Have you found it difficult to add these injection locations in same place every time? In this edition of Plastics Quick Tips, I will show you how to select the exact location you want the first time, every time.
Tip: Use Split Lines in SOLIDWORKS to Mark Injection Locations
When you mesh a part in SOLIDWORKS Plastics, you break up the geometry into elements; at the corners of each of these elements are nodes. When you select an injection location, you’re picking a node to designate as the injection location. In order to force SOLIDWORKS Plastics to put a node where you want, use split lines in SOLIDWORKS. What I like to do is mark my injection location with a sketch consisting of a circle and two perpendicular lines (Fig. 1).
[Figure 1. Injection location created with split lines.]
From this sketch I create a split line feature on the face where the plastic will start flowing. The idea behind the two perpendicular lines is that the intersection creates a selectable vertex (and forces SOLIDWORKS Plastics to put a node there), which makes selecting the exact injection location easy (Fig. 2).
[Figure 2. Adding an injection location to a specific location.]
Even if you model the sprue and runner(s) in your part file (Fig. 3), you’ll still need to specify an injection location on the sprue’s end face (and surprise, I like using the split line method here too).
[Figure 3. Example of a family mold with a sprue.]
One last note with regard to meshing; if you’re meshing your part with a shell mesh, using the above method is critical because you are only allowed to select a vertex (node) injection location. If you’re meshing your part with a solid mesh, it isn’t as crucial because you have the option of specifying faces or a vertex for your injection location. I’d still use the split line method though; if you want to specify faces for your injection location, add split lines that represent the gate location and then select the appropriate split faces.
Whether you’re adding injection locations once or multiple times, remember to leverage the power of split lines to dictate where your injection locations will be. That’s all for now; stay tuned for more Quick Tips coming soon. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if this helps reduce your setup time!