Mold Tools

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 get lucky.

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 news:

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I've been using SolidWorks as a secondary tool for years, with Cadkey 19 as my main design software. I'm used to doing my core and cavity creation in assembly mode, the old fashioned way. I have just struggled through my first attempt at using the new mold tools (new in 2003). The company that I work for doesn't allow training, you have to figure it out on your own. Does anyone have any suggestion for books that will bring me up to speed in SolidWorks? Particularly in mold design? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

rhuber @ ivanhoetool dot com

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