This week more progress was made in creating our model cars for the middle school students from Broughal. This week we were tasked with creating our molds. While this sounds like a relatively simple task, its actually quite complex. After adding our car parts to the mold assembly we had to make some decisions that could have a big influence on how the car will come out in the future.
First, we had to decide where exactly in the mold to place our car parts. This is important not only because we obviously need all of the parts to fit but because it requires us to choose which ejector pins will physically be used to eject our car from the mold. Its recommended that at least three pins are used to remove a part, however based on the somewhat strange shape of our plane/car we ended up having five or six pins to remove the big body pieces. After choosing part locations we had to then remove and add material in the shape of our parts on the mold. This was done using cavity and extrusion tools in SolidWorks. After that we had to design the runner system as seen above. These designs are likely to change in the future. We’ll import our part files into Moldflow and run some simulations to optimize the runner system. This will change our runner diameter and change the gate size as well.
Now that our molds are finished we’ll start the tool paths in NX. Then we’ll have to submit everything and hopefully get approved to continue. After that there won’t be much more to do other than to start physically making things. Next week we’re going to meet with the middle school students and talk about the design, show them step-by-step the process we take when we make things. I’m looking forward to meeting our young design partners and I’m excited to show them how we work. More updates to come!