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5 Ways to design and engineer with molding in mind.

5 Ways to design and engineer with molding in mind.

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1.  Wall thickness counts.  Thermoplastics shrink, and although process and additives can help in reducing blemishes related to shrinking, it always pays to start your project off right.

  • Design with a target wall thickness in mind.
  • Be intentional about planning draft to ensure ribs and bosses stay within 10% of intersecting wall thickness.
  • Core areas which are material heavy.

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2.  Plan your undercuts.  Not every undercut requires a cam or slide actuation, work with your mold designer to ensure your using  the best technology available.

  • Consider creating your undercuts with a thru hole from the parts back side.
  • Look at designing your undercut to work with lower cost flexible cores.
  • Include draft angles capable of providing adequate shutoff for mating mold features.

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3.   Know and understand your material(s).  Injection molding materials offer a wide range of performance and molding properties.

  • Understand common molding properties and design around them.  From gate placement and size to mold cooling requirements.
  • Consider tolerances when choosing materials which mate in assembly.
  • Look to engineering resins to meet the extreme temperature or strength requirements.

4.  Properly identify the cause of defects.  Work with your vendor to assess processing, mold design, and material specifications.

  • Draw the right conclusions.  Consider the story the facts paint and have honest and open dialogue with your molder.
  • Ensure inspection method is enhanced or updated and respond to ongoing problems.
  • Isolate your variables.  Material supplier, Machine type, Drying method.

5.  Define your quality requirements.  Work to define the best process for meeting your parts quality needs.

  • Consider mating parts when defining your inspection and quality requirements.
  • Work with quality managers to ensure prints and process are what you need.
  • Ensure you are continuously improving a repeatable process which is executed by an competent and effective team.

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