Why Simulation Matters in Mold Design

Jul 02, 2016

Digital prototyping gives designers and engineers the ability to virtually explore a complete product before it is built;so they can design, visualize and simulate products from the conceptual design phase through the manufacturing process. By using a digital prototype, users access real-world performance of a design with less reliance on costly physical prototypes. Simply, they are a handtools design service, they can do mechanical or industrial design.

mechanical design

While simulation has been a part of moldmaking processes for quite some time, it has historically been used to drive troubleshooting and validation efforts, rather than design. The problem with limiting simulation to these areas is that it focuses on problem fixing and problem-avoidance, rather than on trying to create truly optimized designs. Simulation software should predict and optimize how components will perform throughout each phase of the design and manufacture process.

Digital prototyping aims to bring simulation into the process much earlier, so designs can be optimized using analysis results. Changes are much cheaper to make digitally on a computer than on a piece of steel that already been cut. Nobody knows this more than mold makers: mold costs can easily run from as low as $10,000 to more than $100,000, depending on the complexity of the mold. The more complex the mold, the higher the cost; and the more important it is to use simulation.

By implementing simulation earlier in the development stages, mold designs can be analyzed and improved iteratively so potential problems are solved preemptively and products are optimized prior to starting production. This method has proven to be extremely effective because quality is now designed into the product and less testing is required in the later stages, which improves the overall efficiency of new product development.

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