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Altair Launches Injection Molding Simulation System

Image: Altair exploded view of computer mouse
Altair’s Inspire Mold said to slash cost and time involved in designing parts for injection molding as well as prototype molds.

Data analytics, simulation, and high-performance computing company Altair has introduced injection molding simulation software that, it says, slashes the cost and time involved in designing parts for injection molding as well as prototype molds.

Altair’s Inspire Mold enables engineers to make better design decisions earlier, reduce costs, speed time-to-market, and optimize the quality and manufacturability of finished parts, said Altair in a press release.

Image: AltairAltair CTO James Dagg

Altair CTO James Dagg.

“Inspire Mold puts designers and engineers firmly in control of faster, more intelligent, and intuitive evaluation of injection molded plastic parts,” said James Dagg, Chief Technical Officer.

Manufacturability of new components can now be evaluated at the outset of the development process, identifying possible warping, sink marks, and short shots before costly investments are made in molds. Design iterations are completed faster, and fewer are needed before an optimal solution is identified. Scrap, tooling, and rework costs are slashed, and there are no requirements for specialized, GPU-computing hardware, said Altair.

While injection molding simulation has been used for many years by plastics specialists, the time and expertise requirements of legacy tools have limited their appeal to the broader design and engineering markets, Dagg told PlasticsToday. “Inspire mold is breaking down these barriers. It is easy to learn and use. It provides extremely rapid model definition without meshing. Most importantly, it solves the numerical equations fast. What took days in the past now takes hours, and what took hours, now takes minutes or, in some cases, even seconds. Because of these two important attributes, Inspire Mold is positioned to grow rapidly in SME markets,” said Dagg.

Altair describes the key features of Inspire Mold, as follows:

  • Product designers and engineers can easily conduct virtual testing, validation, correction, and optimization of molding designs via an intuitive, five-step workflow.
  • Fast, next-generation 3D technology eliminates experimental approximations of traditional 2.5D solvers. Support for advanced physics empowers advanced and novice users with deeper insights and understanding.
  • The technology stretches from initial design to material mapping of reinforced engineering polymers, analyzing and optimizing the structural and fatigue performance of complex parts in a comprehensive end-to-end solution.

Another important element of the software is built on the company’s recent launch of the Material Data Center (MDC), a comprehensive source of metal, plastics, and composites information for simulation purposes. “Injection molding simulation requires vendor-specific material properties that accurately represent their complex nonlinear data relationships,” Dagg explained to PlasticsToday. “Altair’s recent acquisition of M-Base and the launch of the Altair Material Data Center are perfect complements to Inspire Mold. Together they provide a rich set of complete vendor data in a run-ready format.”

Inspire Mold currently includes embedded data on 60 materials. The MDC will be integrated soon, said Dagg, which will allow MDC license holders direct, immediate access to reliable, high-quality material data.

Inspire Mold joins Altair’s existing manufacturing simulation products designed for casting, forming, mold-filling, extrusion, and additive manufacturing.

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