Miniature Tool & Die, Inc., US
Keywords: micromolds, micromolding, micro injection molding
In our world of manufacturing today, everything is getting smaller and smaller- fitting into tiny circuitry, controlling the smallest droplet, or channeling the smallest fiber optic light source. New advances in microfluidics, biomedical applications, micro sensors, and microscopic implants, and ultimately nanotechnology are growth & research initiatives that are requiring us to rethink how we manufacture in conventional methods. Micro Molding is an unconventional manufacturing method can serve all of these initiatives. Growth & research, however, doesn't come without its challenges. This paper explores and offers solutions to these challenges, some of which include: ? Teaching product designers about the new possibilities ? Finding a limitation of what is possible to mold; wall stock, L/D ratio, and gate sizes ? Multiple cavity- How to balance flow when parts are fractions of a pellet ? Using techniques developed by other industries to improve moldmaking capabilities ? Acceptable tolerances in ''conventional'' sized molds are unacceptable in micro molds ? Accurate steel positioning to ultra precise tolerances ? Mold flow analysis for micro sized parts ? How all of these challenges vary with each material ? Part handling of microscopic-sized parts New products, growth, and mature product lines all benefit from implementing a micromolding strategy. With tooth-picked sized runners, and correspondingly fast cycle times, micro molding provides benefits in all sections of a product life cycle.
Nanotech 2004 Conference Technical Program Abstract