There?s good news for mold designers in SDRC?s release of I-deas 8 CAD software. Two improvements in particular are designed to automate the process of examining core/cavity functionality and creating a mold base.
SDRC considers its VGX Core/Cavity (VCC) function a powerful tool that cuts out the tedious steps involved in checking draft requirements, creating parting surfaces, and splitting the core and cavity, among other operations. First, Die Lock Check uses color to highlight surface categories such as draft and undercut based on user-specified pull vectors, and also to identify modeling problems (see picture). These colors can then be saved for downstream use.
A Parting Surface command enables the quick and automatic generation of these surfaces from the parting line. The company touts this operation as flexible and interactive, allowing the user to obtain complex results rapidly without the typical labor-intensive intermediate steps.
Separating the mold halves also has traditionally been a lengthy process, but VCC?s partition command streamlines it into one step in version 8. Once the parting surfaces and the overall volume of the assembled components are defined, the model can be split in a single operation, with the resulting parts fully associative back to the original geometry.
Users also have more options now in generating mold bases. The automatic creation of bases was introduced in version 7; with I-deas 8, two more standard catalogs have been added to D-M-E and Hasco in the software?Strack and Futaba. The variety of plate options in VGX Mold Base have been expanded as well to include stripper and runner stripper plates, and gaps between the A and B plate may be specified. Modifications to standard catalog sizes can be made for customized models.
To reach more midrange users, SDRC has restructured its I-deas software to be scalable by licensing scheme. The Master and Artisan Series levels have been combined in version 8, giving designers access to optional enhancements previously available only to Master Series users, and increasing compatibility among licensees. Base price starts at $4995.
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