Plastic Injection Moulding

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Advantages of 3D scanning or 3D digitizing technology for injection moulding 

Today’s advanced 3D scanning systems coupled with 3D modeling and inspection software have become powerful tools for accelerating product launches; saving time in product design, tooling development and offering faster, more thorough quality inspection. The Steinbichler COMET white light 3D digitizing system combined with PolyWorks Modeler or Geomagic Studio offers the user numerous opportunities to help design and manufacture injection moulded products much faster than in the past using conventional approaches. Some of the advantages of effectively applying 3D scanning technology are outlined below.

 

Creating a New Product Size

An existing mould or product master model is scanned with a Steinbichler COMET 3D digitizing system. The resulting 3D point cloud data is then processed in PolyWorks Modeler or Geomagic Studio. By generating a 3D polygon model (typically in STL format) the model can be readily scaled up or down to adjust for overall product size. Rapid NURBs surfaces or cross-sections can be constructed (typically in IGES or STP format). Data can then be easily exported for use as reference data in a CAD package, where the existing CAD model is modified to the new size or features added or modified as required.

 

Creating a mould based on a prototype

A prototype part or model is scanned with a Steinbichler COMET white light 3D digitizing system then processed in PolyWorks or Geomagic. To accelerate the final design process, cross-sections, specific features or polygon data are generated and exported for use as reference data in a 3D CAD package. Geomagic Fashion with parametric exchange can also be used in conjunction with a CAD package such as Solidworks, Pro Engineer, NX or Inventor to quickly build a parametric or hybrid 3D CAD model.

 

Tool Duplication

Key product features are captured where 3D CAD does not exist or is suspected of differing from the current tooling. The mould core and cavity are scanned with a Steinbichler COMET white light 3D digitizing system, taking advantage of the high data density and excellent accuracy performance. A complete surface model can then be constructed using the new 3D point cloud data in PolyWorks Modeler or Geomagic Studio, creating a precise 3D model of the existing tooling cavities. This process is typically referred to as reverse engineering.

 

Product Inspection

The part is scanned with a Steinbichler COMET white light 3D digitizing system, then aligned to the available 3D CAD using a variety of techniques and inspected using PolyWorks Inspector or Geomagic Control. A comprehensive colour map style inspection report can be immediately produced to easily visualize deviations between the part and the 3D CAD. Local numerical deviation values can also be reported for specified inspection points and key features. If the same inspection procedure is likely to be run repeatedly for the same part, the inspection can be automated in the software by writing macros to complete the desired comparisons and analysis.

 

Tool Verification

The mould is scanned with a Steinbichler COMET white light 3D digitizing system or photogrammetry system, then processed and inspected in PolyWorks Inspector or Geomagic Control. An inspection report is produced showing conformance to specifications.

 

Correcting for Non-Linear Warping

Both the part and tooling are scanned with a Steinbichler COMET white light digitizing system. The part is compared to the CAD model in PolyWorks Inspector and a grayscale deviation map is created. The part to CAD deviation map is then used to offset the scanned tooling in Geomagic Studio to create modified tooling that corrects the warping. Once the modified tooling has been built, trial run parts are inspected to confirm the modifications.