Everyone agrees that quality parts come from a flawless mold, and digitally simulating the process is the key to starting out with flawless tooling.
Taking your mold from good to great is as simple as testing it via Mold Flow Analysis (MFA). This software simulates your mold conditions before you open up your wallet to pay for tooling. The effect MFA has on the quality of the mold, the performance and appearance of your product makes it an indispensable component of any plastic injection molding design project.
MFA software is expensive, but the return on investment is substantial.
What is Mold Flow Analysis?
Mold flow analysis (MFA) software simulates the flow of plastic, which allows you to elevate part and mold design to create products of impeccable quality. Like other simulation software, MFA gives you a virtual sneak peek into how your material of choice will fill the mold’s cavities and offers a head’s up on potential problem spots. The benefit is obvious, right? Simulating the process digitally means you can make changes BEFORE A TOOL IS CUT. This one thing is a big cost savings, not to mention a time saver as well.
When Should Mold Flow Analysis be Used?
In case it wasn’t clear, MFA is conducted before tooling production launches. (It wouldn’t make much sense to use it afterward!) Using a selected gate location and material properties, the software is able to predict how the part will fill during molding. Different data points can be assessed, including pressure, fill time and melt temperature. Doing so allows for optimization of the process before tool manufacturing ever begins.
There are many MFA software makers; you should look for the software that best suits your project’s needs.
There are multiple benefits to MFA. They include:
- Resolution of wall thickness complications
- Gate location optimization
- Mold cavities fill consistently and uniformly
- Discover defects in design geometry
- Prevent expensive tooling errors and rework
- Enhance manufacturability
- Reduce time to market
- Boost efficiency and quality
- Reveals potential visual defects, including air traps, sink marks and weld lines
- Assess different material options, pre-production
- Provides data to support design changes