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What is SolidWorks Plastics?

Plastics are essential parts of our lives. The usage of plastic components in everything from consumer electronics to children’s toys, household gadgets, and medical equipment has constantly expanded. It’s impossible to imagine a day without utilizing plastic parts. The bulk of these plastic components is made via injection molding, which involves injecting liquid plastic ingredients into a mold, cooling or solidifying the material, and then ejecting the molded item. This process explained above is executed using Solidworks plastics. You need to know what is Solidworks Plastics and how to use its features.

What is Solidworks Plastics?

Solidworks Plastics is a simulation program that aids in the optimization of plastic parts and injection mold designs. Solidworks plastics is a Solidworks CAD that simulates injection molding flow. It replicates the flow of the plastic melt into the mold cavity. It generates data that will aid component designers, mold designers, and injection molding manufacturers in validating and optimizing their products. Solidworks Plastics is integrated into the Solidworks interface, speeding the process and allowing for on-the-fly design revisions.

Solidworks Plastics is a Solidworks add-in product that allows simulations for plastic injection molding. It comes in three levels: Plastics Standard, which predicts single part mold filling and common faults; Plastics Professional, a package that allows analysis of the pack cycle, more intricate and complex materials, and multi-cavity molds; and Plastics Premium, which will enable molders and tool designers to simulate cooling channel design and predict wrinkling. 

Plastics designers can forecast how melted plastic flows throughout the injection molding process with Solidworks plastics simulation software, which combines injection molding simulation with sophisticated CAE analysis to guarantee the mold works the first time perfectly. Solidworks Plastics solutions may optimize component wall thickness, gate placements, and runner system size and layout, reducing or eliminating the need for rework. SOLIDWORKS Plastics aids in the prediction and avoidance of probable manufacturing errors before any mold tooling is cut, thus avoiding the need for time-consuming and costly mold rework and ensuring project deadlines and delivery dates are reached on time under budget. 

So, using Solidworks plastics is the most efficient and accurate way to validate your plastic design before you start injection molding. In minutes, you can quickly test your designs for proper fill, best injection location, and potential product defects such as weld lines, short shots, and sink marks, all within the Solidworks interface. Solidworks plastics take the complexity out of testing your designs to ensure you get the mold right first. It does all of the complicated calculations for you to focus on designing.

Solidworks plastics work directly within the Solidworks interface, so you can validate while you work, and you will create the best design the first time, every time. With proper knowledge of what is Solidworks Plastics, you need to learn how to use Solidworks Plastics.

How to Use Solidworks Plastics

Solidworks plastics is compatible with your 3D model, so you don’t have to worry about translation. You can immediately observe the impact of design modifications. Mesh geometry ranging from thin-walled portions to very thick and solid components is covered by robust and rapid state-of-the-art meshing. An easy-to-use interface guides you through each step. Even if you infrequently use simulation tools, guided analysis, intelligent defaults, and automated procedures assure proper setup. The Solidworks Plastics material database is configurable and comprises hundreds of commercial plastics.

Mold designers can swiftly optimize multi-cavity and family mold layouts and feed systems—including sprues, runners, and gates. While part designers get immediate feedback on how changes to wall thickness, gate placements, materials, or geometry affect the manufacture of their components, follow this guide on how to use Solidworks plastics.

Step 1: If you’re using Solidworks plastics for the first time, go to Tools > Add-Ins to activate the Solidworks plastics Add-In. 

Select Solidworks plastics from the Solidworks Add-ins menu. To guarantee that Solidworks plastics load the next time you start it, click the Start-up box. Also, you may use the PlasticsManager or the Solidworks Plastics CommandManager to get to the application tools. 

Step 2: You can use the Study PropertyManager to create a new plastics study or edit an existing one. Create a new plastics study or amend an existing one with the Study PropertyManager. Click on  New Study to launch the Study PropertyManager (Plastics CommandManager). You can use the Study PropertyManager to give the study a name. Then choose the injection technique. (single polymer material versus multi-material process), i.e., specify the number of injection units (2–6) for multi-material over-molding and the analysis approach (solid or shell). You can click the green check to create the study.

Step 3: Select the material used in the part cavity and mold bodies. Thousands of materials and their characteristics, such as viscosity, specific heat, and thermal conductivity, are available in the material database. You can select material by right-clicking on Unit-1 (material not specified) under Injection Units. Click on Settings and then click Materials in the Materials window to browse the material database. You can choose between the default database and a user-defined database where you can sort by the family of materials or by company or brand. 

Also, you can configure the additional properties for the fill parameters, such as fill time, injection pressure limit, etc., or leave them as default settings.  

Step 4: Click on Injection Location after right-clicking on the boundary conditions to specify the injection locations or gate locations. Then, you can select the clamping force by right-clicking on the boundary conditions and choosing the clamping force. Also, clamp force defines and tracks the clamping force required to mold a part, as this is important in selecting the size of a machine that the position may be moldable on, and you will see it rated in tonnes.

Step 5: After you have created the CAD parts such as cavities, inserts, and runners and defined boundary conditions on CAD entities, To make the mesh, a shell or solid mesh must be used to mesh the plastic pieces. The most beneficial for thin-walled portions is the shell mesh. It achieves the optimum balance of analytical precision and calculation speed. Also, for any form of the model, the solid mesh offers precise results. There are two ways of meshing the geometry: automatically or manually. The manual technique allows you to choose your mesh parameters and improve mesh quality.

Step 6: After completing the steps stated above, you can now run the analysis by right-clicking on the flow option, which is just another way of saying the filling portion of the molding process. Then, after clicking “Run,” this will pop up the analysis manager.

Step 7: You should be able to see partial results after clicking “run” as they become available. Every ten percent that the model fills will get a graphical update on the screen. If you don’t need to see the partial results, it will be slightly quicker to disable the “display partial result” option. Still, the partial result display can catch apparent errors before the analysis is complete. Once the analysis is thorough, the analysis manager will automatically close, and you can interpret the result.

Conclusion

Plastic is essentially one of the most widely used materials in practically every sector. By minimizing the amount of time and money spent on making faulty prototypes, the ability to detect flaws before manufacturing saves time and money. Going through this post will give you an overview of what is Solidworks Plastics and how to use the features. Solidworks plastics is ideal for keeping ahead of the competition by delivering quicker, higher-quality outputs. 

 

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