Optimizing Emergency Light Lenses and Components with SOLIDWORKS Plastics
Simulate Mold Filling Saves Time and MoneyECCO uses SOLIDWORKS Plastics mold-filling simulations to optimize plastic injection-molded parts on the front end, which saves time and money by minimizing iterations with the moldmaker on the back end. The company still values the expertise of its tool manufacturer, but having access to mold-filling simulations during design keeps potential manufacturing issues to a minimum. “Although we still leave things like mold inserts, sizes, forms, and the presses required to the toolmaker, being able to visualize how the plastic will flow in the mold gives us greater control over how the final part will look,” Aldape notes. “If we didn’t have SOLIDWORKS Plastics, we wouldn’t have as much confidence in the manufacturability of a design. It helps us avoid going back and forth with the moldmaker after the fact, which saves time and reduces costs.”
Increasing the Flow of Plastics in MoldsECCO first used SOLIDWORKS Plastics to develop a new base for its four-foot and six-foot emergency light bars. After using SOLIDWORKS Simulation structural analysis results to increase the stiffness of the base by adding ribs, fins, and ridges, Thompson used SOLIDWORKS Plastics to simulate mold filling, which led to additional design changes to optimize manufacturability. “The light bar base was the largest injected-plastic part that we have made,” Thompson says. “With SOLIDWORKS Plastics, I was able to modify the design to improve the flow of plastic in the mold. I added a large post for the injection sprue and ribs heading out from the post to serve as runners to improve flow. Instead of having to go back and add runners, which would have resulted in a delay, I had already done it. All the moldmaker had to do was change a gate dimension.”
Improving Lens Optics and Product AestheticsMany of ECCO’s products require plastic injection-molded optical components that serve as protective lenses. With SOLIDWORKS Plastics, the company’s designers can make sure that there are no mold-related parting or knit lines marring the critical optical areas where the light shines through. ECCO designers also use the software to improve the overall aesthetics of injection-molded components by positioning knit lines where they are less noticeable. “The appearance of knit lines is a concern,” Aldape stresses. “When knit lines land in the functional, fine polish area of optical components, they obscure light. When they are noticeable in any component, they detract from product aesthetics. With SOLIDWORKS Plastics, we can position knit lines where they are hidden by a feature or textured surface, which enhances the overall look of our products.”
Evaluate mold filling of plastic injection-molded parts during product design to eliminate mold-related manufacturing issues, enhance lens optics performance, and improve product aesthetics.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Plastics Professional injection-molding simulation and analysis software.
- Minimized iterations with moldmaker
- Eliminated mold-related production issues
- Optimized parts for stiffness and mold filling
- Improved lens optics and product aesthetics
Products(s) Used:SolidWorks Plastics
If we didn't have SolidWorks Plastics, we wouldn't have as much confidence in the manufacturability of a design. It helps us avoid going back and forth with the moldmaker after the fact, which saves time and reduces costs.