Dissolving Molds: A New Way to Think About Injection Molding
Rather than mimic the conventional functionality of a tool, something new is in the game: dissolvable molds. The soluble tooling technology uses the same printer but different materials, allowing for a flexible workflow—from geometry to molds to parts.
The dissolving aspect provides design flexibility, Mason notes. Even for complex parts with undercuts and non-ideal parting lines, the mold design can be completed in 30 min., which eliminates the need to anticipate and address the pain points of a part before testing it. Mason says the speed of this approach is exceptional and molds are ready to use in less than an hour.
The dissolving aspect allows for experimentation and testing. Unlike traditional molds where changing the gate location can be costly, using the 3D printing process means each shot can have a different gate configuration. Mason says this is a liberating feature that enables a multitude of design iterations with minimal time and material costs.
🎛️ Optimal control of the part mass for the injection molding process
Injection molding is one of the most important processes to manufacture plastic goods. During the long production times, process variations might lead to a varying product quality. Therefore, in the state of the art, the machine variables of injection molding machines (e. g. the barrel temperature and the screw speed) are controlled to suppress these variations. However, the influence of changes of the raw material on the part quality cannot be systematically suppressed with state-of-the-art controllers. In this work, a novel control concept is proposed where the part mass is controlled instead of the usual machine variables. The control strategy is based on an estimation of the plastics mass in the mold. In order to account for the system nonlinearities, a model predictive control strategy is developed for both the filling and the holding-pressure phase. The feasibility and the benefits of this proposed part-mass control strategy is evaluated by a series of measurements on an electric injection molding machine.
Determining the Cost of an Injection Mold
One of the most common questions for those looking to source a plastic injection molder is “How much will a plastic injection mold cost?” It’s one of the most important questions since the actual mold represents the most significant expense in upfront production costs. That being said, many factors go into determining the full cost. With any custom injection molding project, your injection molder should be able to give you the final price tag. In this article, we will review the variables that can impact the cost so that you can be better informed when making a mold purchasing decision.
To calculate the total cost, injection molding projects have four key variables: the equipment, mold, materials, and related services. By learning the details of each cost factor, you can understand the total cost and select the right materials and service provider for your future projects.
Protolabs Unveils Advanced Capabilities and Volume Pricing through Digital Network of Global Manufacturers
Digital manufacturing leader Protolabs (NYSE: PRLB) has significantly expanded its manufacturing capabilities and pricing options available to designers, engineers, and buyers worldwide. By leveraging the company’s digital network of manufacturers at Hubs, customers can access advanced capabilities, reduce part cost, and increase part quantities across CNC machining, injection molding, and 3D printing services. The expansion complements the low-volume, on-demand manufacturing services already available from Protolabs.
Injection Molding Machine Unloading with a ROKAE Robot
How to Review Injection Molding DFM Feedback With Fictiv
How can we help reduce plastic waste? Facilitating the use of recycled plastics using in-mold sensors to optimize the injection molding process
To use recycled materials with material properties that fluctuate from lot-to-lot, conventionally, a skilled operator made fine manual adjustments to the injection molding process conditions according to the material properties. As this is time consuming and requires experience, this has limited the type and amount of recycled materials used as manufacturers have sought to use recycled materials with consistent properties.
To address this issue, my colleagues and I conducted a study where we looked at how we could automatically optimize the process conditions and thereby contribute to quality, and presented our results at the 37th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society (PPS-37) which was held in Fukuoka, Japan, from 11-15 April 2022. Below, I’d like to briefly share what we did.