One of the benefits of working in a connected design ecosystem like 3DEXPERIENCE Works is having the ability to create, modify or update designs no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection. For this phase of our circular saw project, we are doing everything from the comfort of a hotel room, hundreds of miles away from the rest of our team members. Because the 3D Mold Creator Role / xMold xApp is accessible from a web browser, we can communicate seamlessly with the team and won’t miss a beat.
Watch the video below for a walk-through of using 3D Mold Creator (xMold) for this phase of our project:
As we experience the rise in remote work, it is increasingly important to make sure the right people know that you are actively working on a task. By first going to Collaborative Tasks, we see that there is a task waiting. When you move the task to “In Work” or “Completed”, the person who assigned that task will get notified so that they can stay up to date on the progress. Additionally, when a task is completed, the file can be attached directly to the task, allowing the assignee to see the work that has been done.
Inserting Geometry in xMold
Inserting Geometry in xMold is no different than the “Insert Part” command inside of SOLIDWORKS. The main difference is rather than opening the file locally, we are going to open the file right from our Collaborative Space where the rest of our design content is located. Once inside of xMold, we can use the “Insert Geometry” command to search all of the data we have access to on the platform.
This may seem daunting at first, but the powerful search command combined with our 6WTags will help us find the exact piece of content we need to make a mold of. It is as simple as typing in a keyword and then selecting the relevant data tags to find what we are looking for. It is often easier to find files on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform than your own hard drive!
Adding Draft to the Model
When we go to create a mold around our part, typically we want to have the draft pre-applied to the faces before we start. This helps ensure all our mold features are being generated in the correct location and helps to make sure the part will be cleanly released from the mold. Sometimes the design team is not thinking of a clean mold release when designing the part so in the event the faces aren’t drafted, we can easily add this before creating the mold.
The first thing we will do is make sure the faces are split within our model so we can draft in opposite directions on the part. This can be done with a projected sketch or with a reference plane on the model.
Once split, we can activate the draft tool to add “draft” to our model. We’ll need to select a neutral plane to help define which direction the draft will go, the faces to actually draft, and finally, the degree of “draft” to apply. If the draft is going the wrong way, the direction can be flipped with a click of a button to ensure it does what we expect.
Creating a Mold Around a Part
Once we have the model and all the faces are drafted correctly, creating the mold itself is simple to do. Using the tools in xMold, we can work our way from left to right to start working on our model.
The first thing to do is define the direction of pull. This will tell the software which direction we are going to be removing the mold from and can be done with the same face we used for the draft. The parting line for our mold will be created directly from the model geometry, but we can always add more selections as we see fit. With the parting line created, we can move down to the shut-off surfaces. Once again, this is being created from existing features (our parting line) and should pick up everything needed.
From here, the parting surface is also created from our parting line. Sometimes, the parting surface isn’t always the best fit for the part and we need to clean it up with surfacing tools.
All that’s left to do is to create our mold core and mold cavity. This is as simple as creating a sketch to represent the outside of the mold and then letting the tool do the rest.
Updating Team Members
The last thing to do when finishing an assignment is to update your team with the progress you made. Luckily, we can do that straight from the xMold xApp and share directly to our SWYM Community with a picture or 3D preview of our work.
After informing the entire team, we can move the assigned task to completed and notify the assignee that the job is finished.
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