Injection molding for dummies?

In the past I've designed parts that made their way through several manufacturing processes, ultimately being injection molded as the numbers
justified. We are working on a new part that we know will require injection molding for both its production rate and the fact that it would be cost prohibitive to machine ect..
I am sure that once the initial design is done and a molder looks at the part, he is going to find some items requiring changes. I would, however, like to minimize the amount of rework that needs be performed.
Is there a book/web guide that may prevent me from making idiot mistakes designing the part?
Brian Hokanson Starting Line Products
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My best bet is to review the GE, Bayer and other plastics manufacturer Design Guides in pdf format that they make available for over view issues. I found them with Google. Someone asked for that info in this group a few months back and put them in as links on his web site.
Your closest college engineering department library will have a lot of books no doubt as well as the Modern Plastics and other magazines with their articles.
The other way to refine a new design that is costly to produce, is to do what everyone does at one time or another and ask a design consultant at an industrial design firm to analyze your part for moldability and a flow analysis to recommend gate size and positions, along with other issues, like optimal choices in wall thickness, draft and parting lines for a specific plastic.
Bo
Brian wrote:

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Plastic Part Design for Injection Molding by Robert Malloy is the classic for the field and would be a good book to pick up if you are going to be doing a lot of designing for plastic.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)56348737/ref=sr_1_1/002-3866277-2198404?ie=UTF8
Larry
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snipped-for-privacy@voyager.net says...

(Amazon.com product link shortened)56348737/ref=sr_1_1/002-3866277-2198404?ie=UTF8
I'll second that. I took Bob Malloy's summer course at UMass Lowell a few years ago using his book as the text. Learned more in a week than I thought possible!
Art
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Found it:
Mark Bannister's site:
http://www.injection-moldings.com/faqlinks.html
Bo
Brian wrote:

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Brian After many years designing plastic parts I learned the hard way i.e it ended up costing money. I would recommend looking at protomolds web site it gives a lot of good advice and I wish I had access to that advice back then. You state that you you have designed a lot of parts through many manufacturing processes I can only assume that you learnt a lot by using those processes. Plastic mouldings are no different. Being a long term Soldworks user this much I can advice you on. 1.Solve the customers problem and come up with your design. 2.Put that design to one side and then think about the manufacturing process that you are going to use. It will have a different set of problems you'll need to overcome. 3.Start from scratch with your model (I'm thinking injection molding here) think about split lines, then think about drarft angles (especially if you want rough surfaces, the rougher it is the larger the draft). No sharp corners (helps plastic flow). Use the CosmosExpress its suprisingly not bad. Play with the MouldFlow Express its quite an eye opener. And add your fillets last to your model. Get SLS prototypes made, they are generally 60 to 80 % of the strength of the end moulded part for functional testing. (FDM parts are ok SLS is just for looks) 4.Communicate with your tool designer as to what your trying to achieve as an assembly of parts, dont just send one part through send him an Edrg of the complete assembly so he understands what your trying to achieve. 5.If you think a particular area of your design is going to change or your worried about it get the tool designer to make that area an insert in the tool. Its easier to remove that small part & rework it rather than doing the whole tool and the tool designer can ensure that cooling lines are not under bits you may want to rip out and replace. 6.All ways get the tool designer to send a mold tool GA to you before they start to cut metal, you want to check that the ejection pins are not on a presentation face of your part and that the injection point for the platstic is not in a similar position. 7. I always insist that the moulder sends me a first article inspection report of the part and that i have a preproduction batch of parts to check (approx 200 parts). This is especially important if your usinng materials like acetal. Ensure that any parts you recieve have had at least 24 hours in air before you inspect them. Some plastics suffer from post moulding shrinkage. 8.Avoid darker coloured plastics (black). They can appear cheaper but they show flow marks which can be a nightmare to get rid off. Thats why most car trim is actually painted. 9.The tool designer is an engineer too, all he wants to do is solve problems and have an easy life. There is some part of moulding thats a black art but if you work with the guy (or girl) it will get resolved quickly and hopefully cheaply.
To put things into perspective I joined a mainly sheetmetal firm some years back (they took me on because of my plastics background) Now I've learnt a lot from the rest of the guys about sheetmetal and i've passed on my knowledge as best i can about plastic but all I can really recomend is communicate. The thing I love about Engineering is that you dont stop learning.
Other places to look for info are the other major plastics manufacturers like DuPont, a lot of them have on line guides you can down load.
Hope this helps Ken
The point I'm trying to get at is that we're Engineers and solving problems is what we do Brian wrote:

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Ken has a great set of recommendations.
In addition, when you get to the actual molding, you need a real good guy who has learned all the wrong ways things get done to make the best parts in your initial setup runs. The newer closed loop injection molding machine control systems make far more stable parts, & they are needed for close tolerance work.
If it is a touchy item with critical tolerances, as most of my parts are, then you need to develop gages to check parts quickly, as measuring with plastic parts for close tolerances doesn't work so well. Weighing parts, is also a way to understand wether the molding process remains very stable, or is causing size changes. Even different lot #s of plastic can cause size changes.
Lots of things to look at, but they are manageable.
Bo
Ken Carpenter wrote:

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Ken,
Just to add to your exellent advise,,,
Keep copies of models of the molded parts (the models actually used by the tool maker) isolated, and in there original SW version format, as well as parasolid.
I had an instance of a complex surfaced model that changed shape when brought from 2001+ to 2003. About a year after the original tool was made, we had to add features that were required to blend with existing cavity features. If we hadn't caught the discrepency (just in time) the toolpath would have gouged the hell out of the existing cavity. I ended up having to re-install 2001+, and make the changes there.
You never know what the programmers, at Solidworks, are going to change from one release to the next. In this case it was the surfacing algorithms. If the part is constructed with analytic shapes, you're probably OK.
Regards
Mark

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Mark thanks for that I've had a very similar problem in the past, i completely forgot that one. I always supply my mould makers with parasolid files where possible, they seem to be more stable than iges & sat and are small making them easy to email.
One last thing if you we want to get one book on plastics get Product Design with plastic by Joseph B Dym It has a very good section on the properties of plastics. Actual plastics, Design guides, Process etc. Best of all it costs about 20, superb book and I use it frequently. regards ken
MM wrote:

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Thanks all for the tons of advice, specially the reading materials list. I don't anticipate being able to design the part fully due to some of the specialized knowledge that only comes with experience. My hope is that I'll get the model close enough that whomever we chose as the molder will have minimal model rework, and the changes necessary won't require scraping and starting over the design process. I'm also hoping to avoid a situation that requires a very special machine ( read expensive ) to mold the part.
I work much cheaper than a specialist. The more work I do, the less the project is going to cost overall.
--
Brian Hokanson
Starting Line Products
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Brian not a problem more than glad to help. This group have helped me out loads over the years so what comes around goes around. If you get really stuck send me a edrg and I'll have a look (no charge lol). regards Ken
Brian wrote:

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To add to the excellent advice you have already gotten, give a lot of thought up front to what material you need to make your part in. The design rules are different (in the details) for each material. What kind of loads will it see, what kind of deflections can you allow? What kind of tolerances can you live with? What will be the environment it lives (or dies) in? Temperature, sunlight, chemicals, water, lubricants, ozone and other factors I can't think of right now can all affect your material. What kind of cosmetic requirements do you need to meet? What kind of assembly processes will it see?
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Jerry Steiger wrote:

And to add to what excellent advise Jerry gave, I note, that then when the design requires a type of use and a material that doesn't tend to fit but must...then is when you need a really clever solution. There are grades of plastics "tuned" to achieve certain levels of performance with additives or copolymers that are just not commonly known, unless you work with a lot of different plastics all the time.
Sometimes it may be a job that really does take specalist designer in the field of what is being attempted, even though that costs more money.
Other times it may be as simple as calling the technical centers at Dow, GE, Huntsman, Bayer and such, and just asking for their recommendations, and they give their best answers for free.
Bo
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