The simultaneous design of plastic parts and the injection molds that make them may speed product development cycles. But concurrent engineering doesn't come easy since it forces engineers to grapple with mold design issues long before they finalize a part design. Two updated software products from R&B Mold & Die Solutions address this untimely link between part design and mold making.
Cavity splitter. One of them, SplitWorks 2001 Plus, automatically separates cores and cavities from a solid model, creating the mold inserts at the same time. Among its new features, the software now generates a parametric history that ties insert surfaces to the part model—enabling part design changes to automatically propagate to the inserts.
SplitWorks 2001 Plus also includes new part analysis tools. Users can now preview the parting line creation on both core and cavity surfaces. And the software also automatically categorizes more surface types as belonging to the core or cavity, including a variety of no-draft surfaces.
R&B USA president Frederick Dudek estimates that the software takes about 15 minutes to split a typical core and cavity set—versus as much as four hours without any CAD automation. But the real savings may come in eliminating hard-steel changes as the part and mold design evolve. By allowing the mold design to always reflect the current part model and by flagging parting-line and draft problems, "SplitWorks can eliminate a great deal of costly and time-consuming retooling," Dudek says.
Mold maker. Also new from R&B is MoldWorks 2001 Plus, which focuses on the nitty-gritty aspects of mold design. Working from the insert model and up to 15 standard mold-component libraries, the software estimates the size of the mold base assembly, fills in the related mold components, and generates 2D plate drawings.
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