When producing a plastic part, it is hard to make it perfect. Only after the design in the early stage can more problems be avoided in the later stage. Plastic product design plays a connecting role in avoiding many problems.
1) Comparing raw materials
Choose the right material among many materials, the first thing is to compare their performance, characteristics and cost,etc.
When the material’s use temperature is closer to its melting point, the temperature and time will directly affect the deformation performance of the raw material.
The characteristics of plastics are not only the one of pure raw materials. If the raw materials are processed in the inapplicable range, the best design will fail. Similarly, products cannot solve design weaknesses through processing. Therefore, only an optimized process that takes all factors into consideration can ensure the quality of plastic parts.
2) Design checklist
The goal of new product development or improvement is to make excellent performance at low production costs. The design tasks mainly include raw material and processing method selection, strength calculation and mold design.
Only when these factors are fully considered and systematically followed up can we produce high-quality, commercially-effective molds. We also have to emphasize that the practicality and cost efficiency of plastics are not inevitable, and designers must pay great attention to the selection of raw materials and correct solutions for the processing process.
3) Consider the gate design
The designer not only has to calculate the product design, but also must pay special attention to the gate design of the mold. They must choose the correct gate system and the number and location of gate points. Different gate types and positions will have a greater impact on the quality of products.
The selection of gate location will determine the following properties of plastic products:
Final size of the product (tolerance);
Mechanical performance level;
Surface quality (appearance);
If the designer chooses the wrong gate, it is almost impossible to correct the consequences from optimizing the processing parameters during the molding process.
Basic design principles:
Do not place the gate in a high pressure area;
Try to avoid or reduce the fusion line;
Try to keep the fusion line away from the high pressure area;
For reinforced plastics, the gate position determines the warpage performance of the part;
Provide adequate exhaust ports to avoid air trapping.
4) Basic assembly process
Some simple assembly techniques recognized by all designers, such as snap assembly, press assembly and thread assembly, etc., can greatly save production costs by simply and quickly assembling components.
The biggest advantage of snap assembly is that no additional assembly parts are needed. In the buckle design, the designer must ensure the geometric dimensions of the accessories to avoid stress relaxation causing loose assembly components.
Press assembly can make plastic components high-strength assembly at the lowest cost.
The thread assembly consists of the use of separate, combined screw or integral screw inserts. In order to avoid the production of unqualified components, ensuring the correct sleeve size is a key part. Screw manufacturers can make many suggestions in this regard.
Designers bear most of the responsibility for the final cost of plastic parts. Their decision predetermines the cost of production, mold making and assembly. Later corrections and optimizations are usually expensive and infeasible.
Making full use of the advantages of the characteristics of plastic raw materials can save costs in many ways. Multifunctional integrated design, low-cost assembly technology (such as buckle, welding device, fixing device, two-material injection molding technology, etc.), use of self-lubricating properties, and no surface treatment procedures. Paying attention to wall thickness, molds, tolerances, raw materials, etc. can further save costs.
When a product is to be produced, it is mainly for profit, which is to reduce the cost of the product. The designer has an inseparable relationship with the final cost of the part. His decisions, ideas and final design are all related to the cost of the product. Make good use of the characteristics of plastics to control the cost. Considering some technologies in the mold, it can also reduce costs to a certain extent.
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