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Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 11:04:45 GMT


Molding Plastic

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 11:04:45 GMT

Plastics are synthetically produced non-metallic compounds. It can be molded into various forms and hardened for commercial use. Plastic molding products can be seen everywhere. Examples are jars, protecting caps, plastic tubes, grips, toys, bottles, cases, accessories, kitchen utensils and a load more.

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Even the keyboard and the mouse that you use are made through plastic molding. Even the plastic parts of the chair that you are sitting on are created this way.

The basic concept in plastic molding is inserting molten liquid plastic into a prepared shaped mold, as an example the mold of a bottle. It is going to be then permitted to cool, then the mold will be removed to bare the plastic bottle.

Plastic molding can also custom-mold a wide variety of plastic products including : garden pots, cabinets, office trays and boxes, barriers, barricades and traffic signage and displays for product and marketing promotions.

If you are planning to go into plastic molding business, you should first know the different processes. Choose from a plastic molding process that fits your financial position, your experience, and your resources. Here are basic definitions of various techniques of plastic molding.

The Plastic Molding Processes :

1. Injection Molding

In Injection Molding, softened plastic is forced into a mold hole. Once cooled, the mold can be removed. This plastic molding process is sometimes used in mass-production or prototyping of a product. Injection molding machines were made in the 1930's. These can be employed to mass produce toys, kitchen utensils, bottle caps, and cell telephone stands to name a couple.

2. Blow Molding

Blow molding is like injection molding except that hot liquid plastic pours out of a barrel vertically in a molten tube. The mold closes on it and forces it outward to comply with the inside shape of the mold. When it is cooled, the hollow part is formed. Examples of blow molding products are bottles, tubes and containers.

Equipments needed in setting-up a blow molding business are relatively higher than injection molding.

3. Compression Molding

In this type of plastic molding, a slug of hard plastic is pressed between 2 heated mold halves. Compression molding typically uses vertical presses instead of the horizontal presses used for injection and blow molding. The parts formed are then air-cooled. Prices of equipments used for compression molding are moderate.

4. Film Insert Molding

This plastic molding technique imbeds an image underneath the outside of a molded part. A material like film or fabric is inserted into a mold. Plastic is then injected.

5. Gas Assist Molding

Also called gas injection molding is used to create plastic parts with hollow interiors. Partial shot of plastic is then followed by high pressure gas to fill the mold cavity with plastic.

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SLS Prototypes

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 10:49:44 GMT

Three dimensional printing, otherwise known as desktop manufacturing, three dimensional printing, solid freeform fabrication, rapid prototyping or layered manufacturing, has often been in the advance guard of design and development.

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By quickly creating prototypes that are similar to form and function as the particular production unit, developers can create a product that meets the expectations of clients and project sponsors.

Thru a mix of layered manufacturing methods and traditional model making, top of the range prototypes can be created with less the expense and quicker fulfillment times.

Compared to conventional fabrication methods like milling and turning, layered manufacturing is way better re accuracy, speed and quality. By trying three dimensional printing methods intricate and complex shapes can be formed without any sophisticated machine setup, prototypes can be created from differing types of materials or composites, and the process simplifies the whole process of creating a prototype.

Thanks to the advantage it brings, three dimensional printing services are being offered by companies to engineers and system developers to better understand their product and communicate better with their target clientele. Not only does the system used by designers, developers and manufacturers, but professions like surgeons, architects, artists and even mere individuals regularly employ the technology.

Among the services being offered are stereolithography, selective laser sintering or SLS, fused deposition modeling of FDM, laminated object manufacturing or LOM, inkjet-based systems and solid freeform fabrication or 3DP.

SLS is one of the most used tools in rapid prototyping methods. In SLS rapid prototyping, a CO2 laser is used to melt powdered thermoplastic materials to make layers. A scanner guides the laser and melts particular areas and materials based mostly on the info fed by the 3D CAD.

Prototypes created from SLS processes are powerful and more tolerant to stress. Materials used in the market include DuraForm, CastForm, Somos 201, FR85A and LaserForm. The majority of the prototypes created from these materials are sometimes ready to be used and only need minimal clean up and finishing.

Stereolithography or SLA creates prototype part layers thru the use of a solid-state laser. The 3D CAD data guides the laser as it cuts through the outside of a container which normally contains liquid photopolymer material.

In LOM, on the other hand, uses a paper sheet with one side laminated with adhesive. The laser cuts the outline on the paper sheet. This process doesn't involve any chemical reaction which makes it cheaper and large parts can be made.

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Prototype Designer

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 10:29:53 GMT

The use of laser machining for making plastic injection molds has been available for years, but has only received limited acceptance. This is partly thanks to the uncertainty of the new technology and the cost of the machines.

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However, for the right application, laser machining is a particularly acceptable option. With the latest generation of precision laser cutting machines, there are many improvements. Cutting speeds have gone up, accuracy has improved, surface finishes are better, and the pricetag has come down.

How can laser machining help a mold maker?

Precision laser cutting is the ultimate operation for engraving and the machining of very complex, little, shallow cavities. One of the benefits of laser machining is that it can engrave on difficult contours really consistently and with a high level of accuracy. It is also possible to use laser machining services to engrave molds with changing vertical wall angles.

Laser micro machining can produce little, intricate and precise cores and cavities as well . As the geometry is produced straight from the CAD file, the laser machining operation can faithfully reproduce the designed shape.

What about accuracy?

A precision laser cutting machine can cut within microns. The newer machines are also five axis and able to machine a large range of angles and shapes. The XYZ positioning accuracy can easily rival that of a quality CNC machining center.

Are laser engraving machines safe?

Although it may appear dangerous, a precision laser cutting machine is basically quite safe. Of course, somebody might be encouraged to ignore commonsense and stare at the laser beam with their naked eye, but even this is not so easily done. Generally , however , the machine just hums away, doing its required task.

Are lasers fast enough to compete?

Depending on the application, a laser machining tool is financially admissible. The applications are limited to shallow details, which eliminates many projects. However, if your need is for complex, shallow details, precision laser machining may be the answer .

Because the complete process is computerized and automated, it readily can be adapted to little scale production. The engraving of brands is an fantastic great example. If your symbol is to be cut into a contoured surface, it might not be possible to CNC machine it, or even EDM it. This is where laser machining can be a usable choice.

What other applications are there?

small hole machining and shaped hole machining are good applications for laser machining. Turbine cooling holes are regularly laser machined. The helical shape of the blades are no problem for the laser because there is no tool holder to interfere. It is just a beam of light and the head is able to move about much easier than a milling machine, for instance.

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Injection Mold

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 10:10:06 GMT

All of this material started out generally as plastic pellets. The pellets are feed into one of the huge molding machines, these machines frequently weigh around twenty-five tons. The machine heats the plastic till it is liquid. This liquid is then forced through injectors into molds.

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These molds can be made to almost any shape or size. To put it simply, injection molding is the method of causing liquified plastic in to a mold hole. Once the plastic has cooled, the part can be ejected. It is useful when the parts are too complicated or cost prohibitive to machine. With this process, many parts can be made at the same time, out of the same mold.

The method has normally 6 steps :

1. Clamping : the machine has three parts. The mold, the clamp and the injection unit. The clamping unit holds the mold at a certain pressure, this ensure uniformity in the units that are outputted. Molds are usually made from 2 parts.

2. Injection Unit : this is where the plastic pellets are loaded into a hopper at the top of the injection unit. The pellets are fed into the main cylinder ; this is where they're heated till they're liquefied. Inside the injection unit there's a screw which turns and mixes the plastic. Once this liquid plastic has reached the ideal for this product the injection process starts. The plastic is forced through a sprue and the pressure and speed are controlled by the screw or sometimes a ram depending on the type of machine.

three. Dwelling : this is a pause in the process while some pressure is applied to ensure all the mold cavities have been completely filled. This is vital within the process as it will end in scrap of units if the mold isn't filled in the right way.

four. Cooling : this part of the method lets the mold cool for the mandatory period. If it is done too quickly the units can stick or become deformed once out of the machine.

five. Mold Opens : The clamping unit is opened to separate the mold. Molds are used over and over again ; they're frequently the most important single part in the whole process. The tooling of mold can be extremely pricey.

6. Ejection : the finished product is ejected from the injection mold machine. Regularly the finished product will continue on a production line or be stacked to go to a production line as parts for bigger products, e.g. Car steering wheel.

The products that use injection molding are used each day by each one of us. Many vehicles wouldn't be so cheap if it wasn't for injection molding, however there are some downsides to the method. The machinery is extraordinarily expensive and involves a high capital investment, design of parts must keep in mind the production process, and the method isn't economically for short runs of products.

However the downside are out-weighed by the larger benefits, The speed at which parts can be made, low work costs, minimal material waste, and finished parts frequently need no more finishing.

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Patent Prototype Model

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 09:44:10 GMT

Whether you have a new product, a service or a technology, you have to be able to demonstrate the unprecedented features and benefits of your offering. Some inventors have a facility to create, design and construct the required demonstration unit. The majority of people don't. This is an easy hurdle to overcome.

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In each city in America there are job shops, product design and development firms, engineers and software writers capable of providing pro steering leading to production of the prototype required.

A key spinoff of this process will be the creation of 3-D, PC Assisted Design art. This art is essential in the assembly of the product for production, in getting critical and absolutely accurate value of products and filing patents.

Patent Filing Intellectual Property Protection

Only a few licensees are interested in investing serious monies in marketing a new product without the guarantee of some patent, copyright and / or trademark protection. See a Patent lawyer. Patent law is extremely express and for that reason it is a legal specialty. A competent patent attorney will conduct a search and, using the results, advise the chance of successfully receiving a utility patent ( highly preferred ), design patent ( patent on art, simply overcome ) or not being artful enough to get any cover.

If an item has dicey patent prospects we like an alternative strategy. I have been a proponent for several of my clients of a tactic we call patent pending forever. Our goal is to keep a product in patent pending standing for as long as possible by timing annexation to the application and art and filing these to keep having the filing reviewed again.

During patent pending a filing is basically in limbo. The benefit of for the inventor is that there is no publication of the details of the art, features and unique advantages of their product. Secrecy is an asset. Once a patent number is received two unattractive things happen : details of the patented product become public data, and the clock starts ticking against the twenty year life of the patent.

For most entrepreneurs looking for a license, we don't push for world patent filing. International filing is really costly and we let the licensee think this expense.

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