Why SOLIDWORKS Plastics?

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Why SOLIDWORKS Plastics?

Injection molded plastic products are all around us.  Most of us don’t pay attention to things like this, so here is a simple example.  As I write this sitting at my work desk, within arm’s length are the following items that I know have injection molded plastic parts: android smartphone housing and protective case, several components of the laptop like the housing, the keyboard keys, and the LCD screen bezel, the body of the webcam, the secondary monitor housing, bezel, and stand, cases of USB flash drives and portable hard drive, desk phone, tape dispenser, digital calipers, a few parts on a stapler, and several parts of a computer mouse.  How many plastic injection molded parts are within your reach as you read this?

By any conservative estimate, these dozens of plastic injection molded parts constitute hundreds of thousands of dollars in injection mold tooling.  There are also thousands of hours of part design, injection mold tool design, machining time cutting steel, injection molding setup and first shot trials, inspection, and so much more.  With all this within reach, I find myself asking several questions.  How many of these parts were designed correctly the first time for the injection molding process?  How many of these required a redesign after the injection mold tool was commissioned?  How many of these projects were delivered on time?  These are familiar questions to anyone designing plastic injection molded parts.  Utilizing an analysis tool, like SOLIDWORKS Plastics, I know that these questions – and many more that I have not penned – could have been answered positively.

When Engineers and designers are asked to produce more products at an even faster pace, analysis tools are a great way to help make that happen.  The old way of thinking for the design-to-manufacture process was injection molding analysis not conducted until the tooling was commissioned.  Often the analysis did not occur until well after the purchase order was placed!  The worst-case scenario is the analysis was never conducted, which means that design issues didn’t present until first shot trials.  That was never a recipe for success.

So why SOLIDWORKS Plastics?  This analysis tool assists plastic part designers to significantly influence their product’s manufacturability.  The “new way” of thinking for your injection molded part design should include analysis as early as possible during product development.  This allows your Engineers and designers to analyze more iterations, uncovering potential design issues while working towards overall better, even optimized, product designs.  This analysis tool can help uncover possible molding issues, like a short shot, or part defects, like sink and warp, well before the tooling order is placed.  These obvious benefits will save both time and money that every product development company always wants more of.  If you have not yet considered SOLIDWORKS Plastics, now is the time that you should!  Now go make your products better with SOLIDWORKS Simulation!

Bill Reuss

Product Specialist, Simulation

Computer Aided Technology