What do you get when you take something that was good and make it even better? In this case, you get SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2020! A year ago, SOLIDWORKS Plastics first introduced Geometry Based Boundary Conditions for injection locations, control valves, and mold wall temperatures. This began to shift dependency away from the SOLIDWORKS Plastics mesh towards the CAD model geometry. For those of you familiar with SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, this is the same mode of operation as those analysis tools. I will explain how this change to SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2020 improves our workflow in the next few paragraphs. For now, the key takeaway is that with SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2020, geometry-based boundary conditions have been greatly expanded.
How many of you like repeating tasks you’ve already completed? If you’re like me, I’m sure the answer to that is a very sarcastic ‘all the time’! Good or bad, that was a common activity with early versions of the software. You first created a mesh for the project and then added the necessary boundary conditions such as injection location(s), air vent locations, and similar. These boundary conditions were all applied to the study after the mesh was created. This was perfectly acceptable so long as the CAD geometry did not change. If the CAD model changed, you had to re-create the mesh and then re-apply all boundary conditions. For simple analysis work, this was a nuisance. For more involved analyses, you needed a level of confidence that the CAD geometry was finalized before you began a study.
If your analysis will utilize a shell mesh, the number of geometry-based boundary conditions has increased compared to SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2019 (Figure 1). When geometry-based boundary conditions were first introduced, the three options were injection locations, control valve locations, and mold wall temperatures. For shell mesh analysis in SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2020, you can now specify clamp force direction and cooling line input/output directly by selecting CAD geometry in the graphics window.
Depending upon the boundary condition, you may be selecting a face, vertex, or point on the CAD model to apply the geometry-based boundary condition. For instance, when applying an injection location, the boundary condition is applied to a vertex or point on the CAD model (for shell mesh studies). Ultimately, this leads to the injection location being associated to a node in the mesh, which is why we recommended manually building vertices in your CAD model. That is still quite acceptable to be certain you’re adding an injection location exactly where you intend to on the CAD geometry.
With SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2020 studies set up to use a solid mesh, the number of geometry-based boundary conditions is even further expanded (Figure 2). You can now apply symmetry to CAD model faces, specify air vent locations at model vertices, and select faces in the model to be excluded from warp analysis, among other additions. Also, injection locations can be specified directly onto a face with a solid mesh.
Regardless of whether your plastic injection molding analysis utilizes a shell mesh or solid mesh, the geometry-based boundary conditions are a welcomed, expanded enhancement. When a boundary condition is associated to the CAD model, if a minor change occurs elsewhere in the geometry, the boundary condition will not be affected due to the associativity back to the CAD model. This was not the case for prior releases of SOLIDWORKS Plastics. The other benefit is that SOLIDWORKS Plastics saves the boundary conditions within the .SLDPRT file. This allows your team members to view the boundary condition locations with just a part file; you no longer need to include all the project files for most of the setup information.
Geometry-based boundary conditions are going to improve your workflow, save you time, and help make your SOLIDWORKS Plastics analysis more robust! What is stopping you from giving SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2020 a try? Now go make your products better with SOLIDWORKS Simulation!
I hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS 2020. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Application Engineers will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2020. All these articles will be stored in the category of “SOLIDWORKS What’s New.”
What is DI Month? We’re declaring October Design Innovation Month—again! It’s a month-long series of special events focused on what’s new in design and manufacturing technology. You’ll learn about enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2020 that deliver new capabilities for improved performance, streamlined workflows, and a connected design ecosystem. Find out what’s new in 3D printing applications and 3D scanning to integrate into your design process. So, get ready to do things differently. It’s time to innovate! Learn more about Design Innovation Month and register for events here:
Product Specialist, Simulation
Computer Aided Technology, LLC