In key- areas of modern Engineering, such as Automotive or Electronic Industry, it is usually demanded the development of prototype series, which are intended to perform similarly to the final products. These series should be obtained by injection moulding in engineering thermoplastics in very short periods of time.
The fast production of injection moulds is only possible using the recent Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling processes. In the last years, there has been in Portugal, expressive advances with projects involving several sectors for the introduction of Rapid Prototyping & Rapid Tooling (RP&RT), and the assessment of materials and processes for prototype-moulds.
The promotion of the national competitiveness in the mould making industry implies the integration and systematization of acquired know-how for technological optimisation.
The HibridMolde partnership (with industrial partners, R&D institutions and the sector’s technological centre - Centimfe) aimed to assimilate factors and strategies of technological competitiveness, developing design methodologies, optimising the production of core-cavity sets in alternative materials using RP&RT techniques, and systematizing specific procedures for hybrid moulds.
This project was both promoted and financed by POCTI program.
There were four technological vectors associated to HibridMolde Project:
Systematization of the Potential and Applicability/Integration of Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling Technologies in Hybrid Moulds philosophy. This technological vector aims to define a technological knowledge matrix, which will work as a basis to the development strategy proposed in the Project.
Characterization of applicable Technologies and Techniques in Hybrid Moulds.
Arrangement of Conception Specifications and Hybrid Moulds Design Engineering.
Definition of Strategic Lines of the Project’s Computerization and Hybrid Moulds Engineering.
Global systematization of the levels and application fields of the Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling technologies within the scope of the production of Rapid Moulds for Engineering Thermoplastics Injection.
Mathematical compilation of the Hybrid Mould engineering models and specification of the associated development algorithms that permit the respective registration in an “industrial/commercial” computing platform.
In an user friendly formatting (manual, portal/ CD), and willing to optimise and materialise the concept, the methodological and technological codes of good practices in Hybrid Moulds production/design and manufacturing will be compiled. This item refers to the most expected result of the Hibridmould project.
Diffusion of the project’s main conclusions. It is expected that with these conclusions the Portuguese Industry of this area will improve the motivation concerning Hybrid Moulds concept and will face it as a competitiveness factor within the context of injected technical parts Development and Manufacturing (mainly oriented to Automotive and Electronic Engineering), in engineering Thermoplastics.
2 years (January, 1, 2003 – December, 31, 2004)
Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
ESTG – Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Portugal)