Injection molding is the most common production method for plastic parts and components, and their mold tool design could predetermine the quality of the final product. Based on the specificity and complexity of their constructions it could be calculated the potencial decrease of the biggest economical factor from the whole process – the expected cycle time.
Fast growing additive manufacturing methods make possible developing new kinds of mold inserts which could benefit high volume production and bring viable profits.
Such method as Direct Metal Laser Sintering offers the possibility to design mold cavities and inserts with embedded conformal cooling channels which could absorb the temperature of the worse cooled areas of the mold by following the shape of the cavity while maintain define distance from the surface.
The use of conformal cooling channels brings several main benefits:
- cycle time reduction
- uniform heat extraction
- increase of cooling efficiency
- decrease in part deformation
- part quality improvement
An example of achieving 5% cooling time reduction by Moldflow simulation of injection process comparing traditional drilled cooling channels vs. conformal cooling design.