Simulation Software is based on the process of imitating a real phenomenon, with a set of mathematical formulae. It is essentially, a program that allows the user to observe an operation through simulation without actually running the program. 3D simulation of injection mold filling, packing, cooling, shrinkage, and warpage is fairly mature. Their latest releases focus on bringing new or enhanced capabilities to computer modeling of more sophisticated processes like multi-material molding, micro-molding, or rapid heat/cool cycling of molds. Software developers also seek to model a wider range of phenomena such as birefringence in optical parts, warpage in gas-assist or thermoset molding, long-glass orientation, or the stresses and deformation imposed on parts by ejector pins. New versions of simulation software also offer users new ways to optimize gating type and position, model hot and cold runner system problems and more.
Other themes include the integration of 3D simulation functions into broader packages of CAD, mold design, and/or machining. Improved interfaces between the software and downstream structural analysis packages are also prominent in several new modules. Recent advances in math algorithms have yielded new abilities to model both the viscous and elastic properties of polymer melts, thereby eliminating some previous assumptions made by the software. And a brand-new type of solid mesh element is said to improve modeling of parts around the gate area. Also, a new micro-mechanics model calculates the properties of fiber-filled materials.
New solvers deliver results faster and new software utilities make the task of simulation easier, from managing projects with new virtual workspaces, to automatic mesh-healing and STL-repair tools, and “wizards” that ease moldbase selection or cooling design. There are also enhancements to simplified simulation packages designed for a quick check of manufacturability.
The four major suppliers of injection simulation software are Moldflow, Coretech of Taiwan (prefers to be known by the name of its software, Moldex3D), Vero Software, and Sigma Engineering.
Most plastic injection simulation software products offer ease of use, speed and affordability. Simpoe-Designer brings two major benefits to plastic parts product designers, manufacturers and mould makers. The first of these is the ability, in addition to read native CAD formats as well as Iges, Step and STL formats: Solidworks, Pro/Engineer, Acis, Parasolid, Autocad Inventor, UG, Solid Edge and others. The second advantage is the ability to directly modify the geometry, to assess the impact of model changes on the part manufacturability, and therefore optimise the part and its manufacturing process, without having to go back to the original CAD model.
New version 7.1 of Moldex3D offers faster calculation, easier meshing of large models, improved multi-component molding simulation, and a new material data base. New developments include the ability to work with bigger models using parallel computing and Windows Clustering capability. With these two techniques, multiple PCs can be utilized to solve a single simulation, speeding results by up to 400% or even more. The built-in material database has a new interface for direct access to the Material Data Center's internet materials database, which is supported by more than 30 resin suppliers. Users can split a solid-mesh block model to reduce memory requirements for large models. Moreover, a tetrahedral mesh can now be generated while using 30-50% less memory. Other improvements include an auto thickness detector for shell (midplane) analysis. The newest version is also able to more accurately model multi-component molding, such as insert or overmolding. It supports both shell and solid modules, and models heat dissipation and warpage according to the different material characteristics