I posted here in the past about my method of madness when it comes to designing plastic injection molds. Per myself and the handfull of others that posted responses, the manual method of splitting seems to be superior to the "mold tools" on at least some level.
I have since had the time to re-visit the mold-tools, and am quite impressed, as hard as that is for me to admit. Part of it is the functionality of SW2k10 vs what I last used (SW2K7)...but part of it is that they seem to have made it much more solid than it ever used to be. I hate to say it, but I haven't taken a serious look at the mold tools since the late 90's...
That said, I think for at least the next couple projects...I will be using the mold tools to split my cavity/cores vs/ my long-handed version. I do need some help though in regards to the best method to tackle the mold-base (and multiple cavity/core locations). The molds that I design are not single and 4-cavity tools. These are anywhere from 16 to 72 cavity tools and anything in between.
In lamens terms...
ASSY1 - I have a pre-designed assembly with 4 rectangular "plates" stacked on top of each other (they are the same size for argument sake). The assembly (and plate sizes/locations are driven by sketches -also to locate screws and such, to limit the number of external references.
ASSY2 - I have a separate pre-designed assembly with a cavity and core part and any other necessary screws, o-rings, etc. Basically, 2 concentric cylinders stacked on top of each other that are also driven by sketches (size, orientation feature layout, etc).
I need the fastest and most robust way to both put ASSY2 into ASSY1, and pattern ASSY2 according to whatever cavitation tool I am designing. Visualize a linear type pattern...is it is the most common.
Things to keep in mind:
- I need to be able to drive the mating cutouts in the "plates" with features on the cavity and core in the X, Y, and Z directions for orientation purposes as well as maintain clearances, etc.
- I would like the flexibility to be able to rotate ASSY2 and any child cutouts in the "plates" update without headache
- I would like to be able to adjust the layout quickly and easily. I like to re-use stuff if possible...so I would like to be able to steal an entire design, change out the model of the part it produces, and after cleaning up any errors in the cavity/core assembly...have the ability to quickly change the cavity pattern from 8 to 16 (centered around x and y) for example.
I just find that sketch patterns are hard to use, and don't seem very stable at least for what I'm using them for. So, I've been using layout sketches from all diff directions...and deriving them into my "plates" to construct. Then, I put in a screw c'bore for example...and mate the points to points or circles in the derived layout sketch. It seems to be the most solid...
But, when I get to the point of putting in my cavity/core assy...I think my method is flawed, tedious, and a pain in the butt to do.
Any suggestions are welcome. Sorry, I can't post any example files...other than snapshots.