Mold Design

You create a mold using a sequence of integrated tools that control the mold creation process. You can use these mold tools to analyze and correct deficiencies with either SOLIDWORKS or imported models of parts to be molded.

A full training eCourse is available at Mold Design Using SOLIDWORKS (requires a MySolidWorks Professional purchase).

Mold tools span from initial analysis to creating the tooling split. The result of the tooling split is a multibody part containing separate bodies for the molded part, the core, and the cavity, plus other optional bodies such as side cores. The multibody part file maintains your design intent in one convenient location. Changes to the molded part are automatically reflected in the tooling bodies.

The process is as follows:
Draft Analysis Examines the faces of the model for sufficient draft, to ensure that the part ejects properly from the tooling.
Undercut Analysis Identifies trapped areas that prevent the part from ejecting.
Parting Line Analysis Analyzes transitions between positive and negative draft to visualize and optimize possible parting lines.
Parting Lines This tool has two functions:
  • Verifies that you have draft on your model, based on the angle you specify.
  • Creates a parting line from which you create a parting surface. The Parting Lines tool includes the option to select an edge and have the system Propagate to all edges.
Shut-off Surfaces Creates surface patches to close up through holes in the molded part.
Parting Surfaces Extrude from the parting line to separate mold cavity from core. You can also use a parting surface to create an interlock surface. See Interlock Surface.
Ruled Surface Adds draft to surfaces on imported models. You can also use the Ruled Surface tool to create an interlock surface.
Tooling Split Creates the core and cavity bodies, based on the steps followed earlier.

You can save each tooling body into a separate part document by right-clicking the body in Solid Bodies and selecting Insert into New Part. Then insert the new parts into an assembly, where you can add other supporting hardware, create mates, and so on. The new parts have external references to the original model, so changes to the molded part are automatically reflected in the tooling parts in the assembly.

The Mold Tools toolbar also includes additional tools common to the mold process, such as Scale and Move Face , as well as surface modeling tools such as Planar Surface and Knit Surface .
Mold Design Tools Overview has more information on when and how to use the various mold tools.