SolidWorks gains a plastics module

Software previously sold by third-party developer Simpoe is now a SolidWorks-branded add-on. 

SolidWorks Plastics identifies a "short shot" in which molten plastic hardens before fillling a mold. (Source: Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks)

Dassault Systèmes today introduces SolidWorks Plastics, a new module that enables design and analysis of plastic part and injection mold design. The software is available in Professional and Premium versions.

Many SolidWorks users were left adrift when the popular plastics analysis product Moldflow was acquired by Autodesk in 2008. To counter, Dassault Systèmes began to work closely with long-time third party developer Simpoe SAS, which also produces software for plastics injection molding simulation. The new products build on the previous relationship and will be offered under the SolidWorks brand. Simpoe has a similar relationship with PTC for its new Creo CAD software which replaces Pro/Engineer.

The new products run fully embedded inside of SolidWorks, providing part designers and mold makers with the familiar SolidWorks user interface and workflows. Having the analysis utility inside SolidWorks means users don’t have to fuss with translation issues or moving from one program to another to complete their plastic mold and product designs.

SolidWorks Plastics simulates how melted plastic flows during the injection molding process to predict manufacturing-related defects on parts. Once defects are identified, they can be minimized or eliminated by making changes to the part design, mold design, plastics material, or processing parameters, to save energy, natural resources, time, and money.

New SolidWorks Plastics can automate the process of designing the fill of multiple cavities. (Source: Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks)

The software comes with a database of more than 5,000 materials specifications, used to provide a variety of in-design analysis details that can save money by reducing or eliminating the need to physically test each design iteration. The database can also be customized to add proprietary or custom materials.

The Professional version of SolidWorks Plastics is designed for part designers; the Premium version is aimed at mold designers and mold makers. The first release of both products will come later this month in North America; other regions will follow throughout the year.

More information:

A chart from SolidWorks illustrates the truism that it is always cheaper and faster to re-design in pixels rather than in physical materials. (Source: Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks)