Autodesk Moldflow Design provides simulation tools for plastic injection moulding

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Cooling for Overmoulding
The Moldflow cooling analysis has been extended to gas-assisted injection moulding and two-shot overmoulding. The effects of part cooling can now be taken into account in filling and warpage for both the first and second shot components.

Surface Defect Traceability
Visualise the flow path of polymers to identify conditions that could result in surface defects. Identify which gate fluid particles entered, how far they travelled before freezing and which path they took through complex geometry.

Induction Heating
Simulate the rapid heating of magnetic components within the moulds. Use electromagnetic induction to achieve a high-quality surface finish with no visible weld lines.

Controlled Valve Gate Opening
Achieve higher quality surface finishes by combining controlled valve gating with sequential valve gating.

Optimise the speed with which valve gates open and close for uniform flow and balanced injection profiles. Predict the effects of valve gates opening too quickly or slowly and help avoid surface defects and hesitation effects.

Thermoplastics Injection Moulding
Moldflow software helps you to simulate and optimise thermoplastics injection moulding process for your designs using a vast database of thermoplastic materials. Select the best gate location, identify the processing conditions and study the filling parameters.

Determine if you are cooling the mould adequately and then check for warpage. By incorporating Moldflow into your design process, you can validate product quality before investing in expensive tooling.

Moulding processes you can simulate with Moldflow software include:

  • Thermoplastics overmoulding
  • Thermoplastics compression moulding and overmoulding
  • Thermoplastics injection moulding
  • Thermoplastics injection compression moulding and overmoulding
  • Gas-assisted injection moulding
  • Reactive moulding
  • Reactive compression moulding
  • Reactive injection-compression moulding
  • Microchip and underfill encapsulation

Shrinkage and Warpage
Simulate the warpage of the manufactured part to help ensure the end product’s fit and function. Generate accurately compensated models for tooling or further geometry modification. In cases of excessive shrinkage and warpage, it is easy to isolate the underlying cause of the warpage (differential shrinkage in the part, mould cooling imbalances or material orientation) so you can evaluate targeted actions and alternatives to address the issue. The Moldflow database contains gradient-specific data to support the highest level of predictive accuracy.

Mould Cooling
Capture advanced cooling techniques and layouts, such as conformal cooling, as well as transient heat calculations. Iterate on the cooling channel layout and the cooling process to produce high-quality products with short cycle time. Simulate advanced cooling technologies, like rapid heating and cooling and conformal cooling. Evaluate the effect of highly conductive materials, as well as heating elements and thermal pins, on the cycle time and product quality.

Best Gate Location
Reduce or eliminate many production problems and defects by selecting the correct gate location. For more complex designs, use the Moldflow Gating Suitability Analysis for advice on a range of gate locations to find your optimal gate locations. The way molten plastic polymer flows through a mould can significantly affect the overall quality of a part. Use the Fill Preview tool to experiment with different gate locations to preview how the mould will fill.

Fibre Orientation
Calculate and evaluate the fibre orientation, manufactured shape and structural properties of your part. You can also export fibre orientation and mechanical results to an external structural analysis package to further investigate the strength of the finished part.

Thermoplastics and Thermosets
No matter which type of plastics you use, Moldflow Insight plastic injection moulding simulation software can help you to find the best moulding conditions. Thermoplastics and thermosets are the 2 primary types of plastics used in manufacturing. They have distinct properties and are suited for different applications.

Select from different moulding processes including:

  • Classic injection moulding for thermoplastic materials
  • Compression moulding for thermoplastics or thermosets
  • Microchip or underfill encapsulation and other thermoset processes

Reduce Moulding Defects
Simulate how parts are filled and reduce moulding defects, retooling and redesign.

  • Conduct simulations early in the design process to identify where defects will occur
  • Change the design or moulding conditions before costly production
  • Reduce or eliminate potential defects such as air traps, short shots, burn marks, sink marks, weld lines, core shifts and more

Manufactured Material Properties (FEA)
Perform structural tests using finite element analysis (FEA) and verify critical loads. The injection moulding process influences the structural properties of the product, such as weld lines, fibre orientation and material orientation.

If the product has a critical load case to meet, then you can perform a structural analysis test within the injection moulding process to include in the analysis.

Defect Visualisation
Visualise and understand how the part geometry and the location of injection points affect defects, such as weld lines and sink marks, as the part goes through shrinkage and warpage

Optimise the position of the injection points, the part geometry and the moulding process to minimise defects in highly visible areas. The position and depth of sink marks can be exported as .fbx files to Showcase (US site) and VRED (US site) software, so you can evaluate them in detail.

From Art to Part
Moldflow injection moulding software products provide the tools you need to transform your design concepts into produced parts.

  • Moldflow Design software works in your CAD tool and provides instant feedback about issues that affect the manufacturability of parts
  • Moldflow Adviser plastic injection moulding simulation software shows the best way to feed polymer into the cavity and how to cool the mould properly
  • Moldflow Insight software helps you to assess part degradation and the strength of the final part with an extensive collection of simulation abilities

Two-Shot Sequential Overmoulding
Simulate the process of 2 sequential injections (or materials), visualise the impact on their relative behaviour and analyse the overmoulding process. In two-shot sequential overmoulding, different coloured versions of the same material or 2 different materials are injected into the mould.

Use Moldflow to then assess warpage, relative temperature distributions of the materials and the effect of plastic or metal inserts.

Use Moldflow injection moulding simulation software to reduce optical quality issues, such as blurring or double images. Many factors influence birefringence, including the material, mould design and moulding conditions.

Moldflow tools help you to predict optical performance issues in plastics.

One-Directional Core Shifts
Simulate one-directional core deflection on parts with inserts. See pressure differential around the core that could lead to core deflection and use one-sided constraint to help with your analysis.

Cores and inserts shift during the injection moulding process because of unbalanced pressures around the feature. The injection mould holds part inserts or cores in place by several methods. Sometimes the insert or core can move in 1 direction but not in the opposite direction. Use directional constraints to simulate the core or insert shifting in 1 direction, but not the opposite.

Export Results to Structural Package
Use Advanced Material Exchange to transfer Moldflow data to Helius PFA projects for detailed composite structural analysis. Map material properties and fibre orientations from your Moldflow simulation to a structural package. Helius PFA uses the results to predict material nonlinearity and structural response.

Exporting “as-manufactured” simulation data from Moldflow enables a more realistic structural verification of your injection moulded part early in the design cycle.

Runner Balancing
Perform mould-filling analysis of multi-cavit and family moulds. Runner balancing ensures that all the cavities of a mould fill at the same time and with evenly distributed pressure.

Use Moldflow software to optimise the runner diameter for each cavity or segment of a mould for even and more consistent results.

Design of Experiments (DOE)
Understand the stability of your manufacturing process and identify the major factors that influence your product defects or machine moulding limits. Use design of experiments (DOE) analysis to determine which input process variables, such as mould temperature or injection time, can influence the quality of the part.

Parametric Study
Run a series of analyses to investigate and optimise the moulding process based on your defined quality parameters. Use the parametric study function in Moldflow to change moulding parameters by a specified amount.

Then, visualise the effect of the parameter change on the part quality. This provides an intuitive way to understand the moulding parameters that can help you to achieve your quality goals.

Chemical Blowing Agents
Use Moldflow Insight software to simulate chemical blowing agents for creating plastic parts with an internal foam structure.

MuCell Core Back Injection Moulding
By using a combination of MuCell microcellular foam injection moulding and core back technology from Trexel, you can dramatically improve the quality of foam structures. You can create a foam structure with more, bigger cells.

  • By moving the core side of the mould back by a small amount after the mould is filled, a sufficiently thick skin is formed
  • Then, stimulating (expanding) the foaming process, core back creates a foam core with cells that are very regular and large

The result is a stiffer, lighter weight part than what can be achieved with conventional injection moulding or with the MuCell (light weighting) process alone, without core back.

Microcellular Injection Moulding
Simulate microcellular injection moulding with 3D meshes. A fit classical bubble nucleation model has also been added for all mesh types as an additional calculation option to the default constant nucleation density model.

Gas-assist Injection Moulding
Simulate the gas-assisted injection moulding process to improve the location of gas injection positions, delay time, pressure profile and packing time so you can achieve optimal gas penetration.

Lightweight Manufacturing Validation
Validate the manufacturing process for your lightweight plastic components. With more focus on lightweighting, particularly in the automotive industry, validating manufacturability in the design stage is critical.

  • Examine filling, injection pressure, fibre orientation, cycle time and more
  • Determine whether your lightweight component can be manufactured
  • Ensure that your component meets dimensional as well as functional specifications

Compression and injection compression moulding
Create quality parts for applications that conventional injection moulding cannot address. Simulate compression moulding for making very large parts that are otherwise difficult to mould. Simulate injection compression moulding for low-stress, smaller parts, such as plastic lenses.

Orthotropic Part Inserts
Simulate continuous fibre inserts made from composite materials or wood and analyse any overmoulded part defects. In the automotive industry, for example, anisotropic materials, such as wood or continuous fibre composites, can be overmoulded and the simulation will show the final deformation of the overmoulded part.

Bi-Injection Moulding Simulation
Simulate the injection of 2 materials into 1 cavity during a single moulding cycle. Bi-injection moulding simulation helps determine the relative distribution and location of both materials. These materials can be different or the same material with different colours.

Create decorative parts with a soft boundary between the 2 colours and determine if the part meets the required specifications. Simulate the fill patterns to achieve the desired volume, distribution and the relative weight of each material.

Microchip Encapsulation
Simulate the encapsulation process of microchips, also known as packaging. Determine the optimal mould temperature, fill time, ram speed profile and cure time. Moldflow Insight software provides tools for designing the encapsulation package, the tool, lead frame and wires.

Flexible Cloud Solving Options
With Moldflow, you can run multiple simulations in the cloud simultaneously, while you continue to work on other tasks on your computer.

For example, if you are testing the setup of an analysis, use your local resources to iterate and optimise your setup. For longer, more computationally intensive simulations, use the cloud and keep your local resources available for other work.

Analysis Reports
Automation can bring huge time savings to repetitive and time consuming tasks. Easily generate, share and communicate your Moldflow analysis results with your internal and external teams. Use the report generator to create template reports in HTML, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

  • Customise the templates with notes, images and animations
  • Import the study or project files to open in Moldflow
  • Or select the Moldflow results you want to share and export them to other programmes

Moldflow tools for analysis reports help you to reduce the time spent on creating great looking professional analysis reports.

Access to Cloud Analysis
Run multiple analyses in the cloud with Moldflow Insight. Quickly solve larger analyses without compromising your local resource capacity.

Buy cloud credits to tap into extra solving capacity when needed and to run Design of Experiments (DOE). Save both time and computing resources. Get results more quickly, so you can understand your design parameters sooner.

Cloud credits can be purchased by subscribers or maintenance plan customers. You can buy cloud credits from a reseller, directly from an Autodesk sales representative or from the Autodesk Store through your Autodesk Account.

Usability Improvements
Improvements in the latest 2017 release of Moldflow injection moulding simulation software include: streamlined workflows, ribbon customisation, surface mesh modifications, synchronisation of clipping planes in locked windows, tools for simulating local mesh density and more.

SimStudio Tools for Moldflow
SimStudio Tools is a direct modeller that helps you freely work on geometry with simple commands to move, edit, combine or remove features. SimStudio Tools is a companion to Moldflow products and your CAD system.

SimStudio Tools reads in multiple CAD file formats, including Inventor, SOLIDWORKS, Creo and many more. No matter what design programme was used to create the model, you can work with it inside SimStudio to quickly make design changes and explore more design ideas.

Without affecting your original CAD model, SimStudio Tools lets you:

  • Create solid and surface bodies
  • Simplify, remove or thicken features
  • Repair models manually or with Auto Fix and more

Once your model is ready in SimStudio Tools, push it directly to Moldflow or save it as a neutral file for any other work you may want to do later.

Refined User Experience
We have made several user-requested enhancements to improve your productivity during pre- and post-processing. User interface improvements include permanent ribbon tabs, customisable and moveable command groups and refined right-mouse contextual menus. Colours from CAD models are preserved upon import.

Additional enhancements let you:

  • Select layer contents from the layer control window
  • Copy and paste study settings without the geometry
  • View logs and notes of analysis without opening the study

Improved Results Interpretation
We have added several new results and enhanced existing results to provide more insight into analysis results.

Results enhancements include:

  • Examine results across multiple locked windows
  • Animate XY plots
  • Symbols for easier interpretation

New results include:

  • Cavity weight
  • Initial bending moment
  • Flow front speed
  • 3D weld surface

Meshing Productivity
Easily create, repair and refine meshes with new abilities for mesh selection and node previews during remeshing. Usability improvements to the diagnostic navigator help you be more productive.

Fast and Easy to Use
Moldflow processing is fast and accurate. Moldflow includes real-time, dynamic help wizards to help you to make the best design choices. The help wizards in Moldflow can help with:

  • Automated import, mesh, healing and mesh type suitability diagnostics
  • Instant quick fill previews
  • Ideal gate analysis and location
  • Automatic flow analysis with the gate location analysis
  • Manufacturing optimisation, confidence of fill and quality prediction

Meshing Flexibility
With Moldflow software, you have several options for how to best represent the product. Large, thin-walled parts are best represented using midplane and the patented Moldflow Dual Domain technology, while thicker parts are best represented with a 3D mesh.

Material Databases
Choose the best material for your product. The extensive databases of materials in Moldflow help you to simulate many different materials for injection moulding. The databases update continuously and include more than 9,500 plastics that are characterised for injection moulding simulation. Several databases also include parameters such as coolants, mould materials and injection moulding machines.

Add frequently used or customised materials to the database for your records. Combined certified materials rate the confidence level of the material data for filling, packing and warpage applications. Confidence levels are denoted by gold, silver and bronze quality indicators.

Simultaneous Solving
Moldflow Insight Premium and Moldflow Insight Ultimate solvers enable you to run up to 3 analyses simultaneously, so you can analyse several results at the same time. In addition, your team can increase productivity by having up to 3 people run their analyses at the same time.

Automatic Programming Interface (API)
Streamline your simulation process. Create custom tools to reduce repetitive sets of tasks or to build customised workflows. The Moldflow Insight user interface (Synergy) includes the API automation layer based on a simple Visual Basic Script (VBS).

With no preceding experience, you can:

  • Start a script by recording a set of steps with the record tool
  • Then edit and expand on it, using script-editing tools or Notepad

You can even use a script from a third-party application to view, for example, a result within a specific design tolerance.

Integration with Simulation Products
Moldflow injection moulding simulation software integrates with many other Autodesk products, such as Simulation Mechanical, CFD, Showcase (US site), VRED, Vault product data management software and SimStudio Tools.

Import native CAD models, CAD translations and neutral files directly into Moldflow software, no matter which CAD system was used to create them. You can also import meshes from different FEA tools, then export analysis results for further use in structural analysis programmes. Use multiple native files for design optimisation.

Combining training and learning, together with your software is essential. The individual or team that drives the design process must have the highest level of knowledge and product training so the business can leverage its full potential.

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