What is shape flow analysis
Form flow analysis can save your plastic injection molding design
The secret to a high-quality injection-molded plastic part is a flawless shape - one that produces consistent pieces over and over again. So what is the key to a flawless mold? In addition to a strong initial design, shape flow analysis is your secret weapon.It is an indispensable component of any plastic injection molding design project. MFA software comes at a price, but its impact on shape quality, product performance, and appearance and production ROI is undeniable. Read on to learn how that one tool can literally save your shape design.
Photo source: Jason Bailey of Moldflow Plastics Advisers
What is shape flow analysis?
Mold Flow Analysis (MFA) software simulates plastic flow so you can improve mold design and create the highest quality products possible. This analysis provides a virtual sneak peek as the chosen material fills the cavities of a mold and highlights potential areas of concern. Digital simulation of this process in front Cutting the tool allows changes to be made early on, ultimately saving money and optimizing results.
When should mold flow analysis be used?
Is the analysis necessary for every application?
The short answer: not necessarily. Just because MFA is an available resource doesn't mean it should be used for every project. The following factors will help determine whether to use MFA for a particular application:
Complex geometries are most likely to benefit from analysis because they are more complicated and the flow is less predictable than with a simpler geometric design.
Similar to complex geometry, tight tolerances benefit from pre-tool analysis to ensure that a product meets specifications with the selected materials and tool design.
This is where the cost eligibility comes into play. The size and scope of the project should be large enough to justify the cost and manpower to perform proper analysis.
Advantages of the mold flow analysis
MFA has several advantages, including:
Solve wall thickness problems
Optimize gate location
Fill mold cavities consistently and evenly
Discover weaknesses in design geometry
Avoid costly tool defects and rework
Improvement in manufacturability
Reduce the time to market
Improve efficiency and quality
Discover potential visual defects, including air traps, sink marks, and weld lines
Evaluate different material options before production to choose the best material
View customer and supplier data to support your design or request changes
MFA software options
Our recommendation is to work with an experienced contract manufacturer to guide you through the Design for Manufacturing (DFM) process from start to finish. Find a manufacturing partner who has the know-how and experience to do the flow analysis for you Should you decide by yourself, here are some existing software options:
Autodesk Simulation Moldflow
A leader in this category, Autodesk developed its Moldflow software back in 1987. The Autodesk website is bursting with useful simulation tutorial videos. Software updates are released consistently and new versions come out every year.
Via their website: Moldex3D is the world's leading CAE product for the plastic injection molding industry.With best-in-class analysis technology, Moldex3D can help you realize the widest range of injection molding processes and optimize product designs and manufacturing options.In addition, the high level of compatibility and adaptability offers users immediate connection to CAD-CAD systems, creating a flexible, simulation-controlled design platform.
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