Shadow can take your idea, sketch, or concept to the next level by refining your product for aesthetic appeal, functionality, and performance while keeping a close eye on the cost to manufacture using a variety of development techniques.
Computer Aided Design
Shadow uses state-of-the-art software technology to enhance your product design. We construct your design in full 3-D using advanced CAD software like Solidworks, PTC Creo, NX and Rhino. With this electronic product design, rapid manufacturing processes can be easily utilized to reduce your time to market and promote an early customer demand.
Reverse engineering is often an important step in a successful product development. Utilizing a variety of techniques and modern technology, Shadow can reverse engineer most products for your detailed review quickly and at a fair price.
Design for Manufacture
Shadow has significant hand-on experience in manufacturing products of all types. From a simple design to a complex assembly, Shadow can assist your organization to verify that a part is suitable for manufacture. We support products designed for injection molding, 2-shot and insert molding, extrusion, thermo/vacuum forming, blow molding, metal fabrication / welding, as well as, CNC machining.
We have several options available for those who utilize 2-D product drawings. Most design efforts these days are geared toward 3-D development, which means the 2-D drawing can lag behind. If this is the case, we have the right amount of support for your team to keep you ahead of the game.
Shadow’s mold design capabilities are strong, capable and state-of-the-art. Our unique blend of industry experience and modern technology allows us to provide a manufacturing friendly mold design quickly while following the customer’s in-house design and engineering standards.
Computer Aided Design
Shadow uses state-of-the-art software technology to enhance your mold design. We construct your design in 3-D using advanced CAD software like Solidworks and NX with add-on mold design modules. With this 3D mold design, mold makers can quickly manufacture components thereby reducing your time to market and promote an accelerated delivery schedule.
Our designers’ backgrounds include decades of mold building, tool engineering, product development, troubleshooting and mold flow analysis experience for both large and small corporations. This experience provides clients with noticeable advantages in producing a high quality mold for maximum productivity without the run-around.
Advantages of Using Our Team
We adapt to your standard and objectives. We are resourceful and willing to offer suggestions to improve tooling including advanced Mold Flow simulation. Our design team consists of experienced engineers and tool makers. All designers are also trained product designers. Designs are available in 3-D and 2-D for every job. We always strive to be innovative and professional.
Shadow provides complete 2-D drawings for every mold design project. Most designs these days focus only on the 3-D files, which means the 2-D work will typically fall behind thereby creating a possible quality assurance problem. However, this is not the case with our design cycle. By using Shadow, our 3-D and 2-D files are developed simultaneously so both exist when the design is delivered for customer approval or final manufacturing.
Mold Filling & Packing
In a Mold Filling analysis, our engineers generate the part geometry in either 2.5-D shell or 3-D solid tetrahedral elements. We then model the complete runner system including the type (hot/cold), size, and location. Then, as needed, we will modify the design to develop a more advantageous layout to optimize the manufacturing performance during the first and second stages of fill. By optimizing the manufacturing performance at this stage, Shadow can maximize your product’s quality and strength due to molding.
Using an existing or a proposed cooling layout, we have the capability of performing a Mold Cooling analysis on your mold to ensure even cooling. Valuable information regarding conditions leading to an extended cycle time, unbalanced or non-turbulent coolant flows, and hot spots in the mold are identified and corrected.
Warpage & Shrinkage
Using the Filling, Packing and Cooling results, our engineers can perform a warpage study identifying how your part is likely to deform after ejection. In addition, the warpage results can be broken down into the major contributors: (1) differential shrinkage, (2) differential cooling and (3) molecular/filler orientation. This study is popular among clients who examine part tolerances to maintain good dimensional stability during molding.
Using this type of advanced analysis, we can identify and present results based upon your part’s glass fiber orientation. This analysis identifies fiber effects through the thickness of the part as well as on the surface of the mold. Negative fiber effects can significantly contribute to differential shrinkage, poor knit line integrity and reduced strength in critical areas of the part.
Insert, 2-shot, Overmolding
Using state-of-the-art analysis techniques, Shadow engineers can accurately identify molding results based upon you part’s plastic-to-plastic or metal-to-plastic interaction during the molding process. Critical information is obtained from this analysis which allows our team to correctly predict how your part will deform as an assembly.
Why FEA is Needed
In today’s 3-D world, products are required to do more for longer and it is the responsibility of the design engineer to evaluate their design decisions. Fortunately, we live in the age of computers and have a vast arsenal of simulation tools available to the modern engineer. At Shadow, we bring this service to you without the expensive overhead associated with maintaining software internally thereby making our analysis solutions very cost effective. Frequent questions such as: How tall must I make that rib? How strong is this part under these loading conditions? Where are the stresses located and how will that affect part functionality? And how much wall thickness will I need to ensure stability are analytically answered with certainty and precision.
Our engineering analysts’ backgrounds encompass Plastic Part Fabrication, Metal Fabrication, Complete Engineering Refinement, Troubleshooting, and Custom FEA Programming. In addition, most of our analysts are registered Professional Engineers. Our staff is accustomed to working with your Engineering Department to provide the most accurate solution possible.
The Right Solution
Shadow offers a broad range of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) solutions to our customers in order to help answer many difficult questions that arise during product design and troubleshooting. In its simplest form, finite element analysis is the analytical method of dividing a part’s geometry into thousands of smaller regions known as elements. Then, a variety of properties are assigned to each element in order to give the sub-divided part strength, thickness, material properties, etc. so that the finite element model (FEM) approximates your part. The FEM is then subjected to a series of unique analysis solvers that simulate how your part will behave in operation. Our extensive array of state-of-the-art hardware and software technologies give us the greatest flexibility to identify the right solution for your needs.