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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

Optimised Plastics Part Design and Moldflow Workshop

Eric Henry  explaining Autodesk design software

On 19 October Edinburgh Napier University played host to an SPRA double event . In the afternoon SPRA members and guests joined students and staff in a hands-on workshop aimed at younger members and involving Autodesk Moldflow Advisor software.

Eric Henry, Autodesk Ltd
Eric Henry, Technical Sales Manager at Autodesk Ltd, gave short presentations on: Autodesk; Autodesk Manufacturing Products (especially Moldflow);
Students and SPRA members in Moldflow Workshop
and the Moldflow Philosophy (originally developed by Moldflow founder Colin Austin).
This was followed by a hands-on session in which the gating of a hand held game controller cover was analysed. All attendees enjoyed the workshop session which was the first SPRA has held, and there were lessons learned for future events of this type.

Digital Prototyping product design workflow
In the evening lecture that followed Eric gave a presentation on Optimised Plastics Part Design, Manufacture & Performance using Digital Prototyping. From design concept sketches, through CAD, Moldflow analysis for manufacturing, performance simulation, and product visualisation,
Simulation of injection point selection. Blue = best, red = worst
Eric showed how there is now an Autodesk product for every stage in the process and that they can be used together or independently with other CAD products.

Warping  prediction: red regions in excess of 0.5 mm out of plane
The important thing being that at each stage knowledge is not lost but retained and passed on to the next stage (person, company, country). The result is shorter time to market and lower cost. Examples of product visualisations included rendered CAD images which looked indistinguishable from photographs.
Metallic and green effect renderings



In the question time that followed the issue of the cost of carrying out Moldflow analysis was raised and in reply it was stated that the real issue is the cost of not carrying out such analysis. Other questions covered such diverse topics as simulating foams and what is necessary to convince someone to agree to a design or tooling change. The audience thanked Eric for a truly stimulating presentation and for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come up for the day.

Report by Colin Hindle, SPRA Education Officer, October 2011

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Technical Info from SPRA

  • Materials Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, Additives.
  • Processes Moulding, Extrusion, Thermoforming, Ancillaries.
  • Design Product, Mould, CAE, Testing.
  • Applications Healthcare, Packaging, Electronics, Other Markets.
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