Books to help you with SW mold design? Not yet, at least I haven't seen any.
The mold tools in SW are in general pretty awful, there are a couple of
them that I use, but in general I avoid them. One of the reasons is
that SW is more and more insisting on doing things in multi-bodies
rather in assemblies. In an assembly you can segment your work and
close down the rest of it when you're only working on a single part. In
multi-body, all your eggs are literally in one basket.
The Draft Analysis is pretty good, Split Line is useful, Draft function
works well. The Undercut function always says that all the faces of the
part are undercut (because it classifies them from the wrong side of the
mold, but of course SW tells me that "this is working as designed"), and
the Thickness Analysis for plastic parts is tough to get meaningful
results from, but it does work.
The Parting Line, Shut off surfaces, and especially Parting Surface
functions are not reliable at all. You'd be way better off just doing
things manually rather than trying to use these because you would wind
up going back and repairing problems and working around stuff that just
doesn't work or doesn't give you results you can work with. For
example, the Parting Surface won't work at all if you have small concave
features at the PL, and it will give you results you can't control if
you have a PL that is not planar.
Anyway, I use SplitWorks. It's kind of quirky, but you can always get
it to help you out. The one thing it doesn't handle at all is complex
shut offs. Simple shutoffs it does automatically, but passing shutoffs
are always a manual surfacing job. I believe the other mold split
packages are going to be pretty much in the same boat, although I may be
wrong about that. It has been a couple of years since I used Faceworks
(from Capvidia) and iMold. They each had their drawbacks, which is why
I chose SplitWorks.
If your company won't pay for training, you're kind of in a bad
position. Learning this on your own won't be much fun. VARs are
usually a bad source of information for mold applications, cuz they
typically don't have engineers with mold experience, although you may
There are a couple of sources of info which you might see if you can get
your hands on. First, at the last SolidWorks World, There were two mold
presentations. If you know someone who went and has the CDs, the
powerpoint presentations might be worth having.
"M.D." wrote in
17 years ago