The Cutting Edge of Design – Part 11: Mold Design

By Wayne White on

Developing a tooling split can be an arduous process using lesser design tools. When using 3DEXPERIENCE, the workflow is very direct. With powerful mold tools built in, regardless of what access level you have in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, you can efficiently create a tooling split when building molds. With our carving knife handle, this is no exception.

We reviewed the plastic injection process in our last installment. However, this part started in xShape and from that app we were able to streamline the creation of a very complicated shape. Today we are going to show how the mold tools can be easily utilized for functionality on this updated geometry.

This article covers:

Organizing Steps

As you can see below, SOLIDWORKS Connected organizes the mold operations very conveniently. Generally, I would recommend working just left to right in this command manager, in completion of the necessary steps to create the tooling split. However, for more complex molds, there are a variety of surfacing commands that will help along the way. If I back up a step further, I would highly recommend for all users looking to generate molds to at the least take our Surfacing and Mold Tools classes.

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Mold Process Organization

Accounting for Part Shrinkage

In the screen below, I first scaled the handle at 6% to account for shrinkage after the injection molding process is complete.


Generating a Split

Next, we need to generate a split line that will dictate the separation between the core and cavity. The parting line command helps with respect to a draft angle color code whether there is a positive or negative draft, and this allows for quick visualization of these areas in the final part.

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Mold Process Generating a Split

In this case, given the nature of the tight radiuses in the geometry, I chose to use the manual operation with the parting surface. This allowed me to create a very simple radiated surface perpendicular to the pull direction that will helpfully separate the upper and lower halves.

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Mold Process Manual Operation

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Execute Tooling Split

The last operation to the mold tools operation is to execute the tooling split. This command will conveniently create the upper and lower solid bodies based on the prior commands being run in succession. Because we created a parting line, we can generate a parting surface, and all the necessary steps in terms of the core/cavity functions are created automatically for us, which is super convenient.

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Mold Process Execute Tooling Split

Below we can see the effect of running the move bodies command. Here, we can see all the pertinent participants in the mold.


Video Overview

We’ve come a long way to generate a usable piece that typically would be injection molded. Watch the video below to see how we were able to design additional mechanical features and ultimately get to the final design with the powerful, built-in mold tools afforded to all SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE users.

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