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tooling and moulding scanning

Toolcast are now able to utilise the latest in measurement technology for tooling and moulding scanning.

Using the SWYM technology, it is now possible to visualize the results of a measurement directly on the object. 

Features & Benefits for tooling and moulding scanning

  • 3D scanning at the highest precision
  • Adaptive full colour projection with colour and intensity control
  • Colour back projection of measurement results (e.g. CAD comparison)
  • Short scanning times through fast digital projection
  • Quick and easy exchange of measurement fields
  • Maximum degree of feature accuracy thanks to highest resolution camera sensors
  • Can be combined with a handheld probe
  • Highest stability for scanning

Previously, the performance capability of the fringe projection was highly dependent on the surface properties of the scanning object. The colour and reflection properties of the object surface had a significant effect on the quality of the measurement results. This is where the digital adaptive full colour projection technique of the StereoScan neo provides the necessary rectification by using colour and intensity control to optimally adjust to the given surface properties.

The adaptive full colour projection technique enables projection not only of the colour patterns which are necessary for the scanning process onto the object, but also of the generated measurement results. This, for instance, allows for the deviations from the CAD to be visualised in colour immediately following the measurement on the surface of the scanned object. 

This procedure provides the user with totally new possibilities during the workflow. In the tooling and moulding scanning industry or in the context of model making, deviations of the component surface can be measured and visualised quickly and precisely by using the SWYM technology. Based on the projected deviation images, corrections on the object can be made promptly and on site. In a similar way, deviations in the context of inspection tasks can be made visible immediately and the necessary rectification measures can be taken right away.

Plastic Injection Mould Tool Design

Good Practice

There is an extremely wide variety of mouldings that have been produced, ranging in complexity from straightforward to highly technical, since the introduction of injection moulding.

Despite the wide range of geometric forms of mouldings that are produced, it is possible to classify the mould designs into two broad groups when a new component has to be moulded:

  1. Those that may be based on existing proven mould designs
  2. Those that require a totally new design

It is clearly advantageous to use a previously proven design and adapt it to suit a mould design for the new part when it is possible, since with all existing designs the bugs will have been ironed out and their behaviour in production is fully known

If a sample moulding has been supplied when a new mould tool is required, this will often provide useful information such as gate position and size, position of ejector pins etc. If a part has been successfully moulded before, the new mould design should be based on this unless, of course, the reason for laying down a new tool is the fact the first was not successful.

Simpler designs always beat the complex, highly intricate ones for reliability and product quality. It is also good practice to use tried and tested  designs and mould components as opposed to totally new untried ones.

Gaining experience in mould design is largely a question of learning over a period of time and by achieving the following:

  • Become involved in the Design of as many mould tools as is viable
  • To study and understand other existing tool designs
  • To become familiar with toolmaking techniques
  • To observe and understand how mould tools work while in production
  • To have an appreciation of the different types of plastic material, particularly the difference between amorphous and semicrystalline materials.
Mould Tool Design

Predesign Analysis

New designers should place the emphasis on solving problems. Look at all the mouldings you can find and try to detect how they were moulded, were the split lines and gates are, where they were ejected and how many special features were formed.

Try to come up with at least three different approached for split line positions, gate positions and type of ejection. At this stage the cavity construction must also be taken into account as must water cooling.

Observing Mould Tools

Many mould designers may never see the mould they have designed in production!! This is a serious shortcoming. All designers should attend initial tool trials for two reasons:

  • Moulds are often complex and need to be explained to the sampling technician. Many breakages have occurred when complex unscrewing mechanisms or phased latch controls have not been fully explained by the tool designer:

Example of threaded mould:

  • The mould designer can obtain valuable feedback on the design and can implement improvements or “tweaks” that will help the mould run more efficiently

It is also very instructive to look at and observe other mould tools while they are running to study other people’s designs.

Summary of good design practice

  • Use the simplest possible design
  • Make full use of standard components
  • Use tried and tested design in preference to new, unknown designs
  • Critically examine any existing samples that have been provided for gate positions, ejector positions, sinks distortion etc.
  • Check with the toolmaker that they have understood your design
  • Attend sampling trials for essential feedback information and to advise the sampling technician on tool function.

Thread Tool Trim Video

COVID19 Hand Sanitiser Product

Toolcast are supporting the fight on Coronavirus by manufacturing parts for COVID19 hand sanitiser product.

Toolcast recommend you take the following advice to protect lives:

  • cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people
  • if an area can be kept closed and secure for 72 hours, wait until this time has passed for cleaning as the amount of virus living on surfaces will have reduced significantly by 72 hours
  • wherever possible, wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished
  • using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles
  • if an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), consider using protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron
  • wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning

STAY IN – SAVE LIVES – HELP THE NHS

Rapid prototyping parts

Toolcast can produce rapid prototyping parts for a short period of time.

Do you have a requirement for production material prototypes in order to validate your new product, present it to your distributors or test it on consumers

Do you need low-volume production parts for a limited edition?

Increase flexibility and added value using our fast manufacturing service!

In 4 to 15 days Toolcast can deliver rapid prototyping parts manufactured from a selection of plastics including (PP, ABS, Nylon 66, POM-C, TPE, etc.) and metals.

  • High quality functional parts: receive a quote within 24 hrs accompanied by a manufacturability analysis based on your CAD model.
  • Select your manufacturing method: 3d printing, injection moulding or CNC manufacturing. We can produce from 1 to 10,000 parts in record time using a fully optimised process combined with an unrivalled production capability and quality
parts manufactured from plastic
Plastic Injection Moulds
Plastic Injection Moulds

Plastic Injection Moulds – Mould design is a specialised discipline that requires exceptional product analysis and detailed knowledge of materials and manufacturing methods.

Tool design is also a vitally important part of the injection moulding process which affects a product’s strength, quality and durability.

Purchasing the best possible plastic injection moulds tool can make all the difference to product quality, manufacturing speed, unit costs and productivity.
Toolcast provide exceptional design and project management support, guiding you through the tooling design and manufacturing process from start to finish.

We also specialize in two-shot molding

Plastic Injection Moulds – This process involves two separate injection molded parts. The first part is molded and then placed in a second mold where a second material is then molded on to the first.

Depending on customer requirements, the materials may either be mechanically or chemically bonded through material affinity.Today’s technology allows processors to produce injection molded parts from two different thermoplastic materials which in turn allows for more complex parts to be manufactured efficiently and at a reasonable cost in mass quantities.

The materials you choose in two-shot molding can differ in hardness and polymer-type, depending on the part’s function.

What are the benefits of the two-shot process

  • Lower cost
  • Simplified production process
  • Improved product integrity
  • Unique product appearance 2 colour options
  • Ideal for:
    • Soft touch handles and grips
    • Multi-color buttons and knobs
    • Seals
    • Caps and closures
two-shot process
Die Cast Tool Maker

ToolcastDie Cast Tool Maker will be represented at the forthcoming Meet the Tool Maker Event. The event will take place on 13th May 2020 at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. Find out more here.

This is an exclusive event bringing together UK moulders and tool making specialists searching for tooling solutions and moulded component suppliers.

Die Cast Tool Maker - What do we offer?

Plastic injection & Die cast tooling – Fully hardened European grade steels, Multi cavity, twin shot, high volume hot feed tooling through to S50C low volume cold feed. All tooling requirements can all be catered for.

Toolcast can service, complete modifications and repair your existing tooling in the UK even if you don’t have any original cad data.

Plastic & Die Cast Mould Tools:

Our vast experience in this area ensures we are amongst the best in the market.  A quality toolmaking service delivered on time. The manufacture of mould tools are a core part of our company.  Trade moulders & casting companies benefit from our in-dept knowledge and expertise. 

Some of the services we offer include:

  • 4-Axis
  • Wire Erosion
  • High speed CNC machining
  • CNC spark erosion
  • Mould flow analysis
tool maker
injection molding
injection molding

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA) are the integration of product design and process planning into one common activity – injection molding.  The aim is to design a product that is easily and economically manufactured. The importance of designing for manufacturing is underlined by the fact that about 70% of manufacturing costs of a product (cost of materials, processing, and assembly) are determined by design decisions, with production decisions responsible for only 20%. The heart of any system is a group of principles or guidelines that are structured to help the designer reduce the cost and difficulty of manufacturing an item.

Concepts for Good manufacturing design

1. Reduce the number of parts. 

This is probably the best opportunity for reducing manufacturing costs.  Fewer parts means fewer purchases, processing & development time, equipment, assembly issues, quality inspection and testing. It reduces the level of all activities related to the product during its life.  A part that does not need to have relative motion with respect to other parts, does not have to be made of a different material, or would makes the assembly or service of other parts extremely difficult, makes the part a target for elimination.

One approach to part reduction is based on the use of one-piece structures and selection of manufacturing processes such as injection molding, extrusion or precision castings.

2. Avoid separate fasteners. 

The use of fasteners increases the cost of manufacturing a part due to the handling and feeding operations that have to be performed. Besides the high cost of the equipment required for them, these operations are not 100% successful, so they contribute to reducing the overall manufacturing efficiency.

Generally speaking fasteners should be avoided and replaced, for example, by using tabs or snap fit clips. If fasteners have to be used, then some guides should be followed for selecting them. Minimize the number, size, and variation used; also, use standard components whenever possible. Avoid screws that are too long, or too short, separate washers, tapped holes, and round heads and flatheads. Self-tapping and chamfered screws are preferred because they improve placement success.

3. Use of standard components. 

Standard components are less expensive than custom-made items. The availability of these components reduces product lead times.  Also, their reliability factors are well established.  The use of standard components refers to the production pressure to the supplier, relieving in part the manufacture’s concern of meeting production schedules.

4. Design for ease of assembly. 

Select the optimum combination between the material and assembly process to minimize the overall manufacturing cost. In general, final operations such as painting, polishing, finish machining, etc. should be avoided. Excessive tolerance, surface-finish requirement, and so on are common problems that result in higher than necessary production cost.

5. Product Handling. 

Consists of positioning, orienting, and fixing a part or component. To aide orientation, symmetrical parts should be used when possible. If it is not possible, then the asymmetry must be exaggerated to avoid failures. Use external guiding features to help the orientation of a part. The subsequent operations should be designed so that the orientation of the part is maintained.  Avoid using flexible parts – use slave circuit boards instead. If cables have to be used, then include a dummy connector to plug the cable so that it can be located easily. When designing the product, try to minimize the flow of material waste, parts, etc, in the manufacturing operation. Finally, take packaging into account, select appropriate and safe packaging for the product

What is Injection Molding?

Injection Molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts in large volume. It is most typically used in mass-production processes where the same part is being created thousands or even millions of times in succession.

Why Use Injection Molding?

The principal advantage of injection molding is the ability to scale production en masse. Once the initial costs have been paid the price per unit during injection molded manufacturing is extremely low. The price also tends to drop drastically as more parts are produced. Other advantages are:

  • Injection Molding produces low scrap rates relative to traditional manufacturing processes like CNC machining which cut away substantial percentages of an original plastic block or sheet.
  • Injection Molding is very repeatable. That is, the second part you produce is going to be practically identical to the first one etc.