Fast and iterative prototyping for injection molding – a case study of rapidly prototyping
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonProcedia Manufacturing. 2018, 21 205-212. 10.1016/j.promfg.2018.02.112
Injection molding is essential for mass manufacturing plastic parts in all sizes and shapes. However, predicting the quality of a mold is tricky, and while computer simulations are highly advanced, they rely on conservative models, leading to over-dimensioned parts. Furthermore, it becomes practically impossible to prototype a part with the real materials, since a simple mold drives costs and remodeling thereof is time consuming, if not impossible. By building our own desktop sized injection molding machine, we were able to explore the possibilities of prototyping injection molded parts and test a variety of mold materials in order to quantify the outcomes in a three-point bending test. Subsequently, the learnings were applied to a full-scale model, which was tested in an industrial setting. The outcome shows that one can apply rapid prototyping, and subsequent test-build-iteration circles to mass-manufactured parts, allowing for rapidly optimizing material usage, and user interactions.