Shaped cooling channel and metal 3D printing applications
Cooling System is one of the major projects in the design of injection molds. When the plastic material is heated and injected into the mold with a lower temperature, it is necessary to wait for the mold to cool before the mold can be taken out to remove the finished product. At this time, it depends on the cooling system to cool. The cooling system affects the demolding time, product quality, product appearance, etc., and the quality is very large.
The cooling system of the mold is a waterway. In other words, the design of the waterway affects the heat dissipation quality of the mold. The purpose of the waterway design is to evenly cool the product and eject it in a shorter period of time. The traditional mold cooling (Mold Cooling) uses a simple method, which is based on a straight waterway design, which is simple to make, but requires a longer heat dissipation time.
1. Comparison of shaped waterways and traditional waterways
Conformal Cooling is a unique manufacturing technology used in the mold industry. Due to the advent of mold flow analysis software, designers can analyze the heat dissipation of molds and waterways through software, shorten manufacturing time and improve manufacturing quality. Looking further, the design of the cooling water channel of the mold can also adopt the irregular shape design to improve the heat dissipation efficiency, which is the basic principle of the shaped waterway.
However, the method of making the profiled waterway is limited by the prior art by drilling or cutting the mold, which is not only complicated to construct, but also the life of the mold is shortened due to the secondary processing. Therefore, For a long time, the design of the shaped waterway can only stay in the theoretical stage, but after the emergence of metal 3D printing, these problems have achieved a breakthrough improvement.
Why metal 3D printing has changed the limits of waterway design? This is from 3D printing technology. 3D printing is a rapid development of engineering technology in recent years. The biggest advantage is that the principle of 3D printing is additive manufacturing, so there is no styling limitation, even It is a complex shape and pipeline within the object, which does not pose a difficulty for 3D printing. The mold industry has noticed the value of 3D metal printing.
Regardless of the diameter of the mold waterway, or the internal angle processing that is difficult to apply in general lathes, metal 3D printing can be easily achieved. What is even better is that even if the planning method of the shaped waterway is complicated, the metal 3D printing is only required once. It can accurately complete molds and shaped waterways at the same time.
2. Benefits from shaped cooling channel
According to the successful Bastech case shared by 3D Systems in the United States, it can be known that the modified water mold combined with the improved mold under the blessing of 3D printing technology can bypass the top pin and the fixing screw, even if the water path is far away from the area, it can achieve the desired. Cooling quality.
Bastech said that the significant benefits of shaped waterways are as follows:
(1) The mold design time is reduced by 75%;
(2) The manpower at the manufacturing end can save 50%;
(3) Save 14% of the injection mold production cycle;
(4) The manufacturing cost can be saved by 16%.