Besides enjoying the warmth of freshly molten plastic against their skin, plastic part designer and mold makers appreciate parts that don’t shrink unevenly or have an excessive amount of undercuts. SolidWorks has launched an addon to help part designers of the world catch and ‘predict’ issues that may come up during manufacturing with a new product aptly named, SolidWorks Plastics.
If you’ve been a SolidWorks user in the mold manufacturing industry prior to 2008, you may remember Moldflow, a plastics simulation addon for SolidWorks. It was acquired by Autodesk and the SolidWorks plugin went poof. SIMPOE, another plastics simulation software maker, was playing on the sidelines with their own SimpoeWorks addon when this happened. Fast forward to 2012, (only 4 years later?) and SolidWorks has reached an agreement to distribute the addon, repackaged as SolidWorks Plastics, through the SolidWorks VAR channel. SolidWorks Plastics is developed and maintained by Simpoe, who also happen to develop a stand-alone version and a similar plugin for Siemens Solid Edge.
SolidWorks Plastics loads a new tab in your FeatureManager and adds a tab to your beloved Ribbon bar with options to set material for your part from a list of commonly used materials, apply a manufacturing process and run an analysis to see how jacked up things could get when the plastic starts a’flowin’. Here’s the video that uses phrases like, “time to market”, “intuitive workflows” and “injection molding machine size”.
Now, who doesn’t think that animated injection analysis isn’t dang cool. It’s liable to make mold makers shed plastic tear pellets of joy… like they’re not already, and putting them in a bowl with milk. You know it’s good.
According to SolidWorks, SolidWorks Plastics will be offered in two packages:
- SolidWorks Plastics Professional for part designers
- SolidWorks Plastics Premium for mold designers and mold makers
We reached out for pricing information, with no luck. If you reach out for pricing, you’ll need to contact your VAR. Currently, SolidWorks plastics is only available in North America. Other parts of the world get in on the action later this year.