Injection Molding Simulation Software: How Will It Improve Your Designs?
The recent introduction of SolidWorks Plastics got me thinking about which injection molding simulation software would improve user performance the most.
SolidWorks Plastics has an advantage because it’s fully integrated into SolidWorks. The program was actually developed by SIMPOE SAS, a SolidWorks Gold Partner, and therefore offers “single window” convenience to more quickly optimize part and mold designs for manufacturability.
The application helps users determine whether or not they need to make any changes to part geometry, mold design, material selection or processing conditions. Applying SolidWorks Plastics throughout the design process can reduce or eliminate downstream rework, which can be a tremendous time and money saver for the development of any product.
SolidWorks Plastics will be offered in two packages: SolidWorks Plastics Professional for part designers, and SolidWorks Plastics Premium for mold designers and mold makers.
SolidWorks’ Stephen Endersby has an entertaining blog post on how a trip to the beach inspired him to design the perfect sand shovel. To whet your appetite, you can also watch the video below:
The Autodesk Alternative: Autodesk Simulation DFM
The day after SolidWorks made its announcement on April 2, Autodesk unveiled the first injection molding simulation software with real-time feedback.
The performance advantage of the Autodesk Simulation DFM (Design for Manufacturing) plug-in—which is fully compatible with SolidWorks and PTC’s Creo—is that you can visually identify manufacturing, cost and sustainability issues as you work on your design. When a potential problem is discovered, you get detailed information about its source and location so you can address it right away.
Autodesk Simulation DFM complements Autodesk Simulation Moldflow software, which used to be available in SolidWorks before Autodesk bought the company in 2008.
Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, design, lifecycle and simulation at Autodesk, says that “users do not need a simulation background to take advantage of Autodesk Simulation DFM. The software is highly intuitive and easily integrates into any design workflow.”
Take a look at how it works in the video below:
Another Option: Moldex3D
While some SolidWorks users may prefer single window convenience and others may opt for real-time feedback, still others might feel more comfortable going with a product like Moldex3D, which claims to be “the world leading CAE product for the plastic injection molding industry.”
The performance advantage of this solution, which comes from 17-year-old CoreTech System, is that it’s completely focused on plastics. The application targets more advanced industrial users, and the company asserts that it provides greater value through its ability to listen to customers and provide dedicated, expert and reliable support.
Moldex3D boasts that its “advanced, true 3D technology” provides unparalleled analysis accuracy and response time. According to the Moldex3D website, analysis speed can accelerate up to 250 percent if you’re using a standard, quad-core processor. Take a look at the application in action and compare it with the others:
So what’s your verdict? Do you go for full integration? Real-time feedback? A wider breadth of knowledge? All of these things can enhance your performance, so it really depends on what you personally can benefit from the most. Take a moment and tell us which of the three injection molding simulation tools is most appealing to you—or let us know if you have a totally different favorite.