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Design Hardware & Software
CAD Primed for Plastic Parts Design
4/11/2012

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SolidWorks Plastics lets engineers predict and avoid manufacturing defects during the earliest stages of designing plastic parts and injection molds. (Source: SolidWorks)
SolidWorks Plastics lets engineers predict and avoid manufacturing defects during the earliest stages of designing plastic parts and injection molds.
(Source: SolidWorks)

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naperlou
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Integration
naperlou   4/11/2012 9:39:35 AM
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This is a great example of intergration of CAD and analysis to promote manufacturability.  I am impressed with the real-time feedback aspects.  It will reduce design cycle times and allow more consideration of sustainability, manufacturability and other desirable features.

tekochip
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Platinum
Great feature
tekochip   4/11/2012 10:29:41 AM
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This is a great feature in a design tool. It's so very difficult to create a design that works well, looks good and can be molded. You'll still want a mold guru to review the design, but having the tool review your work is a true value added.


Beth Stackpole
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Re: Integration
Beth Stackpole   4/11/2012 10:56:48 AM
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@Naperlou and @Tekochip: Sounds like you both are on the same page as to where this kind of CAD/CAE integration can pay off in terms of optimized plastic parts design. The whole value proposition is having this insight earlier on in the process so there is less rework and less wasted time going back and redesigning. I'm sure we'll see a lot more capabilities in this space as injected molded parts are on the rise.

Charles Murray
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Re: Integration
Charles Murray   4/11/2012 7:44:37 PM
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Beth: Does package incorporate FEA? The fact that this simulation can help develop a stronger component without increasing its weight sounds suspiciously like an FEA capability.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Integration
Beth Stackpole   4/12/2012 6:28:43 AM
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@Chuck: You're right in that the goal of taking weight out of a plastic part is much like FEA, but this particularly type of simulation is really designed as a complement to FEA. It's focus isn't just on structural integrity, but rather about being able to design a plastic part and mold that is manufacturable and manufacturable in an optimized way. I suppose some FEA principles are supported by the tool, but it's really designed to highlight possible problems with a design prior to the finished design in the hopes of eliminating the need to rework expensive injection molds at the last minute.

btwolfe
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Gold
Need more details on SolidWorks
btwolfe   4/12/2012 9:20:02 AM
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Wish there was more detail about SolidWorks' plastic CAD features. Autodesk  seems to get the lion's share of this article. Our company is interested in transitioning to plastic parts instead of machined parts and I use SolidWorks, so I'm looking forward to any features that might natively support injection molded part design.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Need more details on SolidWorks
Beth Stackpole   4/12/2012 10:52:48 AM
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@btwolfe: Sorry there was more detail. Check out this link where you'll find more on the new release as well as other avenues to get more information.

Tim
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Platinum
Great Addition to CAD
Tim   4/12/2012 8:17:40 PM
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These simulation tools are great additions to the CAD products.  Moldflow used to be relatively cumbersome due to the limited modeling capability of the software.  Now using the same CAD software that you use for the part design to run the analyisis is a true timesaver.  It also allows the part designer to look at multiple gating locations on the part and see how the plastic flows in the part before steel is cut. 

Greg M. Jung
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Platinum
Enhanced Long Fiber Option
Greg M. Jung   4/12/2012 9:25:44 PM
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I'm liking the enhanced long fiber analysis option.  Many times when we use blended plastic compounds with these fibers, they can be a little bit unpredictable.  It would be interesting to see how well this analysis matches the actual results.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Great Addition to CAD
Beth Stackpole   4/13/2012 7:25:43 AM
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@Tim: I think you hit on the primary benefits of this kind of integrated CAE/CAD technology. It's really about streamlining the workflow and making the high-end analysis functionality accessible in an environment and within an interface that makes sense and is familiar that is so compelling.

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