Understanding Parametric Modeling for Hybrid Manufacturing of Tooling Inserts

Understanding Parametric Modeling for Hybrid Manufacturing of Tooling Inserts

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Description

It is a well-established fact that Hybrid Manufacturing Techniques have opened up a new realm for producing efficient tooling inserts for industries such as Injection Molding, Resin transfer molding, etc. With these techniques, one can take full advantage of the CNC Machining being perfected for over years and its counterpart the Additive Manufacturing being developed every day. One of the major advantage that Hybrid Manufacturing offers to the realm of injection molding is the ability to produce conformal cooling channels. In this project, I have focused on how one can use parametric CAD modeling to design a tooling insert that will allow rapid iteration in the development process.

Mold design process usually begins with scaling the part to account for shrinkage & the applying necessary draft for easy removal of the parts from the mold. Then using some surfacing wizardry & solid geometry manipulation features one can develop geometries of Core & Cavity inserts. This step is followed by incorporating the details like runner systems, cooling circuits, vents, etc.. Once the final design of inserts done other parts such as say mold plates, an ejection mechanism, guide rails, etc. can be designed around the model. It is at this point, CAE packages are employed to understand the entire cycle time for producing one part as well as to check for errors such as short shot, weld lines, wrappage, etc.

Redesigning runner systems say by changing the gate location or number of gates usually helps to eliminate the part errors. However, the design of cooling circuits drives the cycle time optimization.

As stated earlier, the current project focuses on the parametric design of cooling circuits within the tooling inserts. One of the most important design variable in developing cooling circuits is the diameter of the cooling channel (assuming circular cross-section). Hence, in the design, it has been declared as user parameter and the aspect such as placement of a channel from insert outer surface is driven by incorporating appropriate equations in the channel path sketch. This way once the CAE analysis is completed one can just create a newer alternative by merely changing the user parameter and analyze the effect of different channel geometries on cycle time or wrappage in some cases. I have set the initial value of 8mm for the channel diameter as this diameter can be achieved easily with AM methods without having to worry about support structures. The type of cooling channels in the design is what generally referred to as conformal cooling channels.

On the manufacturing front, the entire Core Insert is imagined as an assembly of 3 component s the insert_body, insert_base & insert_top. The first two components can be manufactured using the subtractive machining techniques and the insert_top can be then deposited on the insert_body using a technique Directed Energy Deposition.

In the later part of the project, I would try to include design of cavity insert & the entire mold system.

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X176
Ninad Kulkarni
United States of America
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