Particularly for rapid tooling applications, delivering prototype parts with turn-around times of less than two weeks requires fast, proven mold design methods. We present a region-based approach to automated mold design that is suitable for simple two-piece molds (consisting of core and cavity), as well as molds with many additional moving sections. In our region-based approach, part faces are partitioned into regions, each of which can be formed by a single mold piece. The basic elements of our approach are concave regions (generalized pockets) and convex faces since these elements are central to the identification of regions. This paper focuses on the initial steps of automated mold design, including a problem formulation, methods for identifying the basic elements from part faces, and combining them into regions. By seeking to minimize the number of mold pieces, different partitions of faces into regions are explored until the smallest number of regions is found. During this process, a linear programming problem is adopted for finding a satisfactory parting direction of a region. Algorithms are presented for the region generating and combining process. Our approach is illustrated with several examples of industrial injection molded parts.
A Region Based Method to Automated Design of Multi-Piece Molds with Application to Rapid Tooling
Contributed by the Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 2001; Revised June 2002. Associate Editor: P. Wright.
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Chen, Y., and Rosen, D. W. (September 25, 2002). "A Region Based Method to Automated Design of Multi-Piece Molds with Application to Rapid Tooling ." ASME. J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. June 2002; 2(2): 86–97. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1505030
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