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One Database Covers All Stages of Mold Design.

Missler Top International Software has begun marketing its TopMold 3D knowledge-based program for mold production in North America. The program covers all stages of mold design--product design, flexible tooling, and the building of a complete mold assembly--in one associative database. The software is being offered in connection with TopCam, a new production tool for two-axis to five-axis miffing.

TopMold is said to provide a full range of capability for producers of tooling with complex or double-curved surfaces. The focus is on injection molding and related manufacturing producing a sculptured or ergonomic appearance. Running under the Windows NT operating system, the program aids tool makers in reducing machining time while increasing productivity and boosting profits.

Free-form surfaces, solids, and wire frame geometry, fully parametric and all in the same database, are included, as are design, drafting, parting-line generation, mold cooling simulation, and water line design. The software is built on the Unigraphics Parasolids kernel, a geometry engine used in many CAD/CAM systems.

With TopMold, any entity in a design "knows" its functional relationship with other parts of the mold, allowing machining processes to be easily transferred to all affected elements of the mold assembly. Components know their relationship with other components and modify the neighboring elements to allow for integration into the mold. The program also computes the angular pin needed based on slide stroke and mold assembly. Leader pins are placed to fit into mold plates, and ejectors know where to be located and how to fit between ejector plates.

The TopMold machining package, TopCAM, offers a gouge-free program and tool paths for CNC machine tools having from two to five axes. Fully integrated to TopMold and sharing the same associative database, it offers an integrated solution for mold design. Collision checking is integral, as is machining, which is tied to either step-over or constant scallop height. Roughing, finishing, and rest-machining, horizontal or vertical, are automatic.
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Author:JOHNSON, DAVA
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Aug 1, 2000
Words:317
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