Autodesk Simulation Mold Flow

In by Todd Weyandt

Autodesk Simulation Moldflow

Simulation tools for plastic injection molding

Integrate Simulation Moldflow software into your Digital Prototyping process to improve your injection mold design and plastic part design, as well as the injection molding design process. Make great products—reduce costly physical prototypes, avoid manufacturing defects, and get products to market faster. Solve locally and use the cloud for additional capacity.

Injection molding

Thermoplastics injection molding
Simulate and evaluate your entire design and molding process by evaluating process and design variables using a vast database of thermoplastic materials and wide range of analysis results. Simulation Moldflow software tools help you simulate and optimize the thermoplastics injection molding process for your application.

Shrinkage and warpage
Simulate the warpage of the manufactured part to help ensure the end product’s fit and function. Generate accurately compensated models for tooling or further geometry modification.

Mold cooling
Capture advanced cooling techniques and layouts, such as conformal cooling, as well as transient heat calculations.

Best gate location
Reduce or eliminate many production problems and defects by selecting the correct gate location. For more complex designs, use the Moldflow Gating Suitability Analysis for advice on a range of gate locations to find your optimal gate locations.

Fiber orientation
Calculate and evaluate the fiber orientation, manufactured shape, and structural properties of your part. You can also export fiber orientation and mechanical results to an external structural analysis package to further investigate the strength of the finished part.

Thermoplastics and thermosets
Compare different plastic material properties and recommended molding and processing conditions, regardless of your selected materials.

Molding defects
Simulate how parts are filled early in the design process to reduce molding defects, retooling, and redesign. Identify where defects will occur and how you can change your design or molding conditions to reduce or eliminate them.

Manufactured material properties (FEA)
Perform structural analysis tests to verify critical loads. The injection molding process influences the structural properties of the product (such as weld lines, fiber orientation, and material orientation). If the product has a critical load case to meet, then you can perform a structural analysis test within the injection molding process to include in the analysis.

Defect visualization
Simulate the injection molding process to understand how the part geometry, the location of the injection points, and the molding process affect visual defects—like the position of weld lines and the visibility of sink marks—as part shrinkage and warpage.

From art to part
Simulation Moldflow helps you imagine, design, and create your entire molding process using Simulation DFM, Simulation Moldflow Adviser, and Simulation Moldflow Insight software.

Two-shot sequential overmolding
Simulate the process of 2 sequential injections (or materials), visualize the impact on their relative behavior, and analyze the overmolding process.

Use Simulation Moldflow software to reduce optical quality issues, such as blurring or double images. Many factors influence birefringence, including the material, mold design, and molding conditions. Predict optical performance issues in plastics.

One-directional core shifts
Simulate one-directional core deflection on parts with inserts. See pressure differential around the core that could lead to core deflection, and use one-sided constraint to help with your analysis.

Validation optimization

Export results to structural package
Use Advanced Material Exchange to transfer Simulation Moldflow data to Simulation Composite Analysis projects for detailed composite structural analysis. Map material properties and fiber orientations from your Moldflow simulation to a structural package. Simulation Composite Analysis uses the results to predict material nonlinearity and structural response. Exporting “as-manufactured” simulation data from Moldflow enables a more realistic structural verification of your injection molded part early in the design cycle.

Runner balancing
Verify multicavity and family molds fill at the same time and pressure. The runner balancing process optimizes the runner diameter for each segment to balance filling and pressure distributions across all the cavities in the mold.

Design of Experiments
Understand the stability of your manufacturing process and identify the major factors that influence your product defects or machine molding limits. Use DOE analysis to determine which input process variables, such as mold temperature or injection time, can influence the quality of the part.

Parametric Study
Run a series of analyses to investigate and optimize the molding process based on your defined quality parameters. Use the Parametric Study to change 1 or more molding parameters by a specified amount, then visualize the effect of the parameter change on the part quality. This provides an intuitive way of understanding the molding parameters that can help you achieve your quality goals.

Manufacturing process

Gas-assist injection molding
Simulate the gas-assisted injection molding process to improve gas entrance position, delay time, pressure profile, and packing time so you can achieve optimal gas penetration.

Lightweight manufacturing validation
Validate the manufacturing process for lightweight component manufacturing. Determine whether your components can be manufactured and meet dimensional as well as functional specifications.

Compression and injection compression molding with 3D
Create quality parts for specific applications that conventional injection molding cannot address. Use compression molding to produce very large parts that are otherwise hard to mold. Rely on injection compression molding for low-stress, smaller parts, such as plastic lenses.

Orthotropic part inserts
Simulate continuous fiber inserts made from composite materials or wood and analyze any overmolded part defects. In the automotive industry, for example, anisotropic materials, such as wood or continuous fiber composites, can be overmolded, and the simulation will show the final deformation of the overmolded part.

Bi-injection molding simulation
Simulate the injection of 2 materials into 1 cavity during a single molding cycle to determine the relative distribution and location of both materials. These materials can be different, or the same material with different colorants.

Microchip encapsulation
Simulate the encapsulation process of microchips. Observe the mold filling and curing process of the resin, and account for the deformation of the bonding wires, as well as the lead frame, due to the filling process.

User efficiency

Flexible cloud solving options
Use Simulation Moldflow Flex to solve locally or solve in the cloud while you continue working. Simulate where and how you want, based on your needs. If you’re testing the setup of an analysis, use your local resources to iterate and optimize your setup. When you’re ready to initiate a longer, more computationally intensive simulation, use the power of the cloud and free up your local resources for other tasks.

Fast and easy use
Simulation Moldflow processing is fast and accurate, and includes real-time, dynamic Adviser wizards to help you make the best design choices.

Meshing flexibility
You have several options for how to best represent the product. Large, thin-walled parts are best represented using Midplane and the patented Moldflow Dual Domain technology, while chunkier parts are best represented with a 3D mesh.

Material databases
Use extensive material databases for injection molding simulation to help you choose your materials more accurately.

Simultaneous solving
The Moldflow Insight solvers enable you to run up to 3 analyses simultaneously, so you can analyze several results at the same time. In addition, your team can increase productivity by having up to 3 people run their analyses in unison.

Automatic Programming Interface (API)
Streamline your simulation process and create custom tools to reduce repetitive sets of tasks or build customized workflows.

Analysis reports
Easily generate, share, and communicate your Simulation Moldflow analysis results with your internal and external project team members and collaborators. Use the report generator tool to create template reports in HTML, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint that you can personalize with notes, images, and animations.

Integration with Simulation products
Simulation Moldflow software integrates with many other Autodesk products, such as Simulation Mechanical, Simulation CFD, Showcase, VRED, Vault PDM, and Inventor Fusion 360 software.

Import native CAD models, CAD translations, and neutral files directly into Simulation Moldflow software, no matter which CAD system was used to create them. You can also import meshes from different FEA tools, then export analysis results for further use in structural analysis programs. Use multiple native files for design optimization.