Mold Design in Ref. Guide pdf

Am I being overly picky or do other SolidWorks users think the 2004 Refernece Guide's 10 pages on Mold Design tools (15 items noted) is
too sparse and sometimes abiguous in the text? Most of the 10 pages consists of screen shots, and unfortunately I think the choice of a complex part as the one shown leaves basic concepts in a nebulous haze. A simple part would get the starting points across with more clarity in my opinion.
Given the dominance of plastic parts in North America and Europe, I would think that SolidWorks would want to have a truly excellent explanation of the Tools including an overview of the different ways of developing cavities (which is barely if even alluded too in the 10 pages), such that a user can understand the different ways to accomplish the many different types of cavity jobs we run into every day.
"Ease-of-Use" is often determined by how good the explanations are when the software is as complicated as SolidWorks. I dare say, that some of the text wording leaves me to wonder if it wasn't done "offshore".
I am registering my dissatisfaction with SolidWorks on this issue.
Bo Clawson
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Bo,
I, for one, would love it if you could put your personal experience with mold building and SWX into a kind of a reference guide / tutorial that would do what you think Solidworks should have. I would even be willing to pay some for it (roughly, the price of a book).
Sincerely, Jerry Forcier
Bo Clawson wrote:

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Jerry Forcier wrote:

Ditto. And BTW, does anybody recommend a good (relatively recent) book on mold and molded parts design, whether purely for injection molding or also covering thermoforming, rotational molding, structural foam, etc.? I've got a fair amount of good experience, but I'd like to have more insight into considerations for different variations.
'Sporky'
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The mold entry in the reference guide, like the mold tools themselves, is a joke. The tools work on a limited range of parts mainly including simple cylindrical or rectangular parts with simple shut offs (no passing shut offs), and simple PL (making cav/core for a horseshoe is not possible without manual intervention).
In the reference guide, it says mold design in SW requires "mold base", "interim assembly", and "derived components", none of which is used by SW's tools.
There is unfortunate misuse of mold terms such as "mold base" which SW seems to think is some precursor to making cavity and core inserts that go into what the rest of the world knows as a "mold base".
The insight added on "interlocks" is indeed unique in my experience.
I wouldn't call the part they used "complex". The projection of the PL onto the parting plane is rectangular, falling into the limited range where the tools will work.
If you pick a random plastic part, you've probably got a 10% chance of the SW mold tools being able to handle it. It makes me ask "what's the point?", especially in light of the fact that there are SW gold partners that have been doing this more successfully for years.
Combine this with the fact that they've ditched the Mold Base mold library, and you get the idea quickly that they are not really committed to nor do they understand the injection molding world.
I think the suppliers of software like MoldWorks/Splitworks, FaceWorks and IMold should be jumping for joy. It is clear SW is not going to come anywhere close to competing with them for a long, long time.
SolidWorks can certainly be used for mold design, but this is true in spite of the new tools. Some of the new functions like ruled surface, move face, and the new one with the unfortunate name of "core" will be helpful when used apart from the Parting Line, Parting Surface and Tooling Split functions.
snipped-for-privacy@tilikum.com (Bo Clawson) wrote in

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Time for SolidWorks to "buy-in" some expertise again, in my opinion.
Thanks for the confirmation Matt - Bo

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I've had a lot of contact with SWX folks on mold design issues. The nifty examlpe of a mold that shows up in their advertising and web site is an example that I provided to them.
Unfortunately, in all of these contacts I have not seen any evidence that there is anyone there who really knows mold design. They see mold designers as a market, and want to serve that market. They have made some commitment to providing tools for that market. I have no idea exactly what 2005 has for us, but even with improvements to the present mold tools, I don't anticipate seeing anything approaching a stand-alone,automatic mold design routine-whatever that is.
And that is actually fine with me. As Matt says, you can indeed now use SolidWorks for mold design. With every improved functionality that SWX adds, this gets easier. Will it ever be AUTOMATIC? I don't see how. There are too many different types of problem with every new mold design. All we can hope for are tools to deal with them. I like the 2004 mold tools, and have found ways to use them. They are incomplete to put it mildly, but still useful. For example, I like having the ability to separate care and cavity surfaces into different surface sets. I don't use them the way SWX seems to intend, but I am still using the basic tools. 2005 should provide us some ability to deal with side actions , lifters, and sub-inserts. Again it may take an experienced mold designer some time to figure out how to best use them in the real world.
And that was the point of Bo's original post. There is no `cookbook' specific for learning how to do mold design with SWX. There are a lot of smart people in this NG who are doing it and we are all probably doing it a little differently. Throw in all of the partner products with their different methods of approach and it becomes a daunting task to even start to answer the question:"what is the best way to design a mold with SWX?"
If SWX really wanted to help the mold designers out there, they would hire a mold design specialist. This person would write better tutorials and be available to answer specific questions. This could be done with Web-Ex sessions or in a special mold design forum of some kind. There is so much power inherent in the SWX software that it is frustrating to not be able to harness it for the specifics of mold design. Everything we need is in there somewhere.
jk
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I was not there, but I was told that at last year's SW World, there was a mold design presentation I believe by the programmer responsible for the mold tools, Cholly Nachman, who used to post here many moons ago. This mold design presentation used a lacrosse stick head which looked fairly complex, but in the end, the demo did not use the mold tools, it was all an exercise in manual surfacing techniques. So much for the mold tools.
I agree that mold design will never become fully "automatic", but there is a lot of productivity to be gained between the extremes of fully manual and fully automatic. I like the R&B tools MoldWorks and SplitWorks because they take out most of the manual tedium. The R&B software has been around for a long time and does both the cav/core split and puts the inserts into a real "mold base".
Anyway, the Mold Tools thing, along with Toolbox, are my selected rant topics. It's hard to believe that these two come from the same company as the rest of the software.

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I agree with John. For non-stressed production products worldwide, plastic is the choice. SolidWorks as company needs to be more committed to mold design. It is one HUGE market. To fail to have top-notch instructions on the basic concepts, regardless of whether there are 3rd party add-ons or not fails to give end users a head-ups on the various methods used to generate cavities, inserts, etc.
I don't "Do" mold design for a living. My use of creating cavities and cores is to verify that what I have designed has a chance of working &/or to easily illustrate to a toolmaker my concept of one way of doing the cavities.
Some times I use a part to "subtract" the cavity from one insert or plate at a time, often because I choose to add material to the insert/plate for a center protruding feature/s and it is just easier to do the work that way. Sometimes a non-planar parting line is easier to to one way or another. Other times I use the "Cavity" Feature to remove the part from a solid block that I later cut into a sprue and ejector side.
There ought to be a separate Mold Design tutorial from SolidWorks in my estimation. And the first part of the tutorial ought to explain concepts first, including what you can not do directly. Then the simple parts can be shown using different methods and proceed to more complex parts. The pdf SolidWorks puts out has a toy car body whose images as displayed in the pdf are too small to be view & understood easily, unless you like zooming in and out constantly, and even that has limitations. PDF files are not the best way to present tutorials on complex issues as I see it.
If I want to understand something I have not done before, I must say that finding a demo part in the SWks download library and rolling back the features to the start and following the construction step by step is the best thing I have found yet to seeing just what happens and being able to examine the feature settings in the dialog boxes. That is what is needed in a major way for cavity work.
Vent Through -- Holes in -- Time for a rest - Bo
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Hello jk,
I would pose the same request to you as I did to BO. Have you ever, or could you now, put together a kind of tutorial for someone like myself that would help with mold building? My background is as a mechanical engineer with several years of SWX use, mostly to make machined parts (using CamWorks) in my machine shop (30 years experience). Mold building is not our niche, but ocassionally we need to get involved a bit. We also have had to design and build numerous patterns for sand castings and I assume this would have great similarities with plastic molds. I would be wiling to pay some amount - such as the price of a book. How would you like to change professions for a while - become an author?
Sincerely, Jerry Forcier
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<SNIPPAGE>
Amen!
I was designing molds in SWX 95 without the aid of mold design tools.
M.T.
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I am still not using any mold design tools. Just "vanilla" SolidWorks. I have a rather unique method though (I think anyway) that seems to work very well.
--
Seth Renigar
Emerald Tool and Mold Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
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The cavity feature wasn't there until SW96.
Mark
wrote:

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I never said it was easy back then ;)
M.T.

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http://www.moderntech.com/Mechanical/products/MoldDesign.pdf

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