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Lots of New Upgrades for Molding Simulation.

New releases add a pack of new features to both simplified and more advanced molding simulation packages from Moldflow Corp., Lexington, Mass. The company's newest advanced simulation package, Moldflow Plastics Insight, is now available in version 1.1. It extends the MPI/Fusion analysis module to predict part warpage directly from a CAD solid model--i.e., without first having to create a midplane. MPI/Fusion already predicts filling, packing, and cooling from solid models.

The Moldflow Plastics Adviser (MPA) is also greatly expanded with new release 4.0. Starting with a CAD solid model of the part, MPA provides designers with quick and easy guidance for optimizing moldability and mold design. The new Automatic Gate Locator displays a color-coded "Best-to-Worst" analysis of where to place a gate. In the accompanying photo, the best location is dark blue and worst is red. It's still up to the user to choose where to place the gate. If one gate location is already selected, the Adviser indicates the best location for a second one. MPA's Dynamic Adviser can tell why a location is good or bad when you place the cursor on the spot.

Also new in MPA 4.0 are automatic runner balancing and automatic process-condition optimization. For the latter, the new interactive Molding Window displays the size and shape of the 3-D space containing all acceptable process conditions. Click on any spot to read the process conditions there. The size of the Molding Window helps you compare material grades, gate locations, and part designs for optimum molding quality. A related tool is the new Quality Plot, an extension of Moldflow's Confidence-of-Fill plot. It analyzes flow properties like shear stress, shear rate, cooling time, flow-front temperature, and pressure drop in order to predict whether some regions of the part may have reduced strength or other quality problems. A color-coded map of the part shows each region's expected quality--high (green), medium (yellow), and low (red).

Among other new features, "banana"-style gates are a new geometry option. You can now import previously modeled runner systems for different part models. MPA 4.0 provides a preformatted spreadsheet for part-cost estimating. Also, MPA can export optimized molding conditions to Moldflow Plastics Xpert, which interfaces with a press controller.
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Comment:Lots of New Upgrades for Molding Simulation.
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:373
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