The molding procedure depends on the kind of machinery you use during your project. Tech Source has all kind of examples on what you can use to get the job done, but you also have to keep in mind the purpose of the molded product you want before choosing one.
One thing I've learned about Design News' readers over the past two decades is that they come in all levels of expertise -- novice, experienced, master. The nice thing about these webinars is that they offer something for everyone at all levels. I, too, am curious about the answer to your question, Rob.
I know this company – (ProtoLabs & Proto Mold) – they are a great resource for producing parts and prototypes form your design files. But to answer your question, my experience has always been that the tool-makers and molders provide as much guidance to product designers as possible. That's where I learned all I know about tooling & molding – from the toolers and molders – over a span of several decades.
A design engineer is tasked with designing a plastic part --- But also needs to understand the challenges of the tool designer responsible for the tool molding the part --- Who, in turn, needs to understand issues related to fabricating the molds. It is very valuable for all players in each role to understand the complete full cycle of product development and all the nuances of each phase. Including "why" the product is being developed:
· Market Need
· Product specifications
· Product design
· (multiple) Parts design,
· (multiple) Tool design,
· (multiple) Tool fabrication,
· (multiple) Parts molding,
· Product Assembly
· Product testing
· (end loop – return to start)
Too often, the people in the group either just before yours, or just after yours, seem to be adversaries; and often conflicts and stubbornness result when compromise is necessary. But when you truly understand everyone's challenges as they all relate to the success of the total program – then the result is a smooth process by knowledgeable and respected peers, working together to produce quality products for a profit.
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