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3rd party thickness analysis tool

AECAEC Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
Since there's no thickness analysis tool implemented into OS, I'd like to hear out the community how you guys go about this process professionally. i.e. what are the 3rd party tools that you use professionally to evaluate the thickness of injection/molded parts?

I'm in a situation where I need such a tool, quite desperately, and prior getting onboard the Onshape train I usually had the capability built-in in other software, Fusion 360, Inventor, Solid Works.
I've never had to seek out a 3rd party software for this singular purpose as it was always available in the CAD package of the time, but now I need to take the step as I can't keep waiting, hoping, for OS to get it implemented.

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    bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member, User Group Leader Posts: 793 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    AECAEC Member Posts: 21 ✭✭

    Yes I know this one, I've tried using it but I find it too limiting and cumbersome, no offense meant at all to mr. Pascoe as it's a majestic display of creativity and ingenuity, but I need something that is easily accessible and readily usable for complex injection molded parts.
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    MichaelPascoeMichaelPascoe Member Posts: 1,713 PRO
    @AEC no offense taken! And I totally agree with you. We need a more robust and fast way to analyze an entire part, not simply a few faces at a time.

    CADSharp could make an app for this, but who would sponsor it? It really would make more sense if Onshape released a native analysis tool similar to simulations, that is directly within the assembly. 

    Learn more about the Gospel of Christ  ( Here )

    CADSharp  -  We make custom features and integrated Onshape apps!   cadsharp.com/featurescripts 💎
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    AECAEC Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    @AEC no offense taken! And I totally agree with you. We need a more robust and fast way to analyze an entire part, not simply a few faces at a time.

    CADSharp could make an app for this, but who would sponsor it? It really would make more sense if Onshape released a native analysis tool similar to simulations, that is directly within the assembly. 

    I'm not sure going down the path of seemingly industry standard core functionality of a CAD package, made by a 3rd company on sponsorship money is wise considering what happens, when funds run out at some point potentially leaving it obsolete as the main package gets updates. So completely agree, I think OS needs to step up and take some responsibility here, it's quite a pain in the behind not having this tool integrated already considering the cost of the software and the competition.
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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,359 PRO
    I'm curious how you are using thickness analysis. Is this during the design process, or is this for doing DFM on parts someone else has designed? Are you designing parts or doing tooling?

    [for reference, I've been designing for injection molding and casting for ~30 years, and have launched 100s of tools]

    I was using Solidworks for many years prior to Onshape (and Pro/E prior to that). I used the thickness tool in Solidworks sometimes, but honestly mostly I would spin the parts a lot and drag the section tool around. It's usually fairly obvious when there's a serious thickness issue - if you're designing the part. It can be more difficult if you're given something that's half-baked and need to review it. The Solidworks tool was not ideal in that it would give weird readings in some cases.

    I would love to see a better tool, ideally one that could do some sort of sampling based on spherical elements instead of tetrahedrons or whatever other mesh. I've never used Moldflow or any other specialized tools, but I've seen plenty of reports.
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    AECAEC Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    S1mon said:
    I'm curious how you are using thickness analysis. Is this during the design process, or is this for doing DFM on parts someone else has designed? Are you designing parts or doing tooling?

    [for reference, I've been designing for injection molding and casting for ~30 years, and have launched 100s of tools]

    I was using Solidworks for many years prior to Onshape (and Pro/E prior to that). I used the thickness tool in Solidworks sometimes, but honestly mostly I would spin the parts a lot and drag the section tool around. It's usually fairly obvious when there's a serious thickness issue - if you're designing the part. It can be more difficult if you're given something that's half-baked and need to review it. The Solidworks tool was not ideal in that it would give weird readings in some cases.

    I would love to see a better tool, ideally one that could do some sort of sampling based on spherical elements instead of tetrahedrons or whatever other mesh. I've never used Moldflow or any other specialized tools, but I've seen plenty of reports.

    I'm happy to entertain your curiousity :) I work in a small company as the sole mechanical designer, so I take products from start to finish through all the phases. 
    We have a chinese partner for the injection molding and tooling, however they do not want to take any responsibilities regarding the design process, so the entire DFM process is up to me. 
    Typically I finally deliver a package of DFM'ed parts of course accompanied by the required techinical drawings for tolerances, texturing, etc. to them and they design the tooling and we ping-pong a bit on potential changes as you do. 

    So while it's not hard to control uniform wall thickness as I design and control everything from scratch, I often find I get to the point after the madatory steps of DFM (drafting, fillets etc.) where I've screwed up the uniformity in certain places.
    This requires analyzing where to mitigate the additional thickness to i.e. avoid suction marks or other potentially aesthetic unpleasentries.

    I often work with wall thicknesses that are hard driven by certification requirements such as flammability rating. 
    Lately I've worked on quite a big enclosure where the drafting, albeit minimal, still resulted in less optimal suction marks in certain places... probably unavoidable within reason, but still part of the process and something I would be able to visualize the impact of with the right tools.

    I have also used cross sectioning of course, that's what we have at least, but it can be hard evaluating things sometimes and it isn't very informative compared to what a proper thickness analysis could tell you.

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