Finding the right software is not easy. So the best is to do a benchmark of the software systems, cause it depends a bit of what you want get out of the simulation. It depends on if your company wants to simulate for part design, or is a mold manufacturer or a plastic part producer. Also is depends on the size of parts. Big Parts, small parts, flat parts. Big parts like bumper is hard to do in 3D, cause it takes too much time in simulation. It also depends on if you want to do simulation of assemblies with mold inserts or part inserts like core shift analysis. Not everybody needs everything.
The most complex setup we do is the complete mold, every plate, all copper inserts, all coolings. But we do this to get precise information for warp and process parameters.
So best way is to do a benchmark. What is important for a benchmark is:
- So chose one or two parts that represent majority of your parts and that are running in your company
- You should have all parameters of the process, like pressure curves, temp curves, etc.
- You need the whole mold, part runners, hot runners in 3D CAD
- You should have information of the warpage of your part. CT-Information or similar is best.
- Ask your supplier to do the simulation for you or get a test version and do it by yourself (takes more time, but you get to know the system better)
- Compare simulation results with reality
But take care: simulation results are only as good as the input is.
Moldflow divides Material in gold, silver or bronze. If you chose a part with bronze material don’t wonder that results will not fit.
We did a benchmark with Moldflow, Sigma, Moldex, Simpoe, Cadmould. Some experience of mine:
- Moldex is very nice but everybody should know there two versions: Moldex eDesign and Moldex Solid, like the small and big version.
- eDesign can’t do core shift
- edesign is very good in construction of cooling lines and runner systems
- but you do not have an influence in meshing. There are just level 1-5. 5 is biggest mesh.
- no possibility in easy remeshing or refining some areas
- eDesign can’t do GIT, WIT
- Setting up a simulation is easy
- checking the results is very slow. You click fill and can wait for 10 seconds. Grab coffee
- getting information in a point works with sensor nodes, but you have to set them before simulation. So you forgot it you have to simulate it again.
- works in past only with stl, but I think stp also does
- After meshing you have to do a repair of the mesh. Takes more time.
- Moldflow is sensible to CAD quality
- Best is to have caddoctor. Is in my opinion a must have with Moldflow
- Many setups possibilities in process parameters
- Great possibilities to get different views in your results
- Best material database. Possibility to judge material quality.
- best for getting the whole mold in the simulation
- no repair needed
- particle tracer are great for weld lines
- but they simulate with constant water temperature in the cooling lines.
- depends on how many licenses you will need
- Moldflow has 3 solver in the basis pack, you can do 3 simulation parallel
- in the other system you pay for every solver
- simpoe is cheapest, than cadmould, than Moldex eDesign
- Moldflow and SIGMA are the most expensive
- With two solver SIGMA is most expensive, Moldflow is cheaper
- but it all depends also on what expansion packs you will need cause some software systems are in modules
- well this is not so easy to say
- everybody has to define this with their benchmark, but
- In our case Moldflow and SIGMA have been on top
A simulation is only as good as the one that does it. Interpreting the results is very complicated if you have not enough plastic material and mold construction experience.