If you do a quick search online about the most advancing researching fields, prototyping technology should be in one spot of the top ten. There is so much money poured into new technology for this field that it is impossible to keep track of every new development sometimes. A company in the USA recently made a significant breakthrough regarding internal molds.
The invention is an unscrewing mold for internal threaded parts. The name certainly sounds like a mouthful, but this probably one of the most important inventions in the rapid prototyping industry. As always, this new invention is meant to make things easier in the labor department. It has taken a heavy toll from the hands of operators without affecting their line of work.
What is an Internal Thread, and Why It is Important?
An internal thread is something that you find on plastic parts that need to be screwed together. The most common use is for plastic bottle caps, drink ware lids, and other forms of plastic hardware. The delicate nature of threads makes molding pretty complicated at times. The old molding techniques called for an unscrewing core incorporated in the tool. That way, it could eject the finished part from the mold without doing any damage to the threads.
With the old manufacturing techniques, these parts had to be unscrewed by hand from the core to prevent stripping the threads. This meant additional labor, and it used to take a lot of time to get it done the right way. The costs of manufacturing increased, and the finished product was delivered on times that could not be rushed at all. A lot of workshops still follow this method, but once the patent on this mold clears, everyone will want a piece of the action, to get things done efficiently.
How Do These Automatic Unscrewing Molds Work?
The Mechanics behind this new prototype mold are easy to follow, and their specs are all over the web. So far, we have seen the mold follow these steps to create new products:
- It all begins by pouring molten plastic on the mold. When the plastic goes cold, the threaded core should start to unscrew. This unscrewing mechanism works of a rack and a pinion, powered by a basic hydraulic cylinder.
- After that, the rack should turn the gears and retract the threaded core on the ejector box.
- When the threaded core is unscrewed, the mold will open, and the ejector will push the stripper plate to eject the part.
- With the part free from the mold, the hydraulic cylinder goes back to its original position to screw the thread core back to the molding position to repeat the process.
The process sounds pretty straightforward and easy to manage at first sight. The operator has very little to do other than take away the parts created with this mold. The accuracy of the threads will be as good as numbers crunched by the designing team at the developed phase. The finished products found online show that these molds work for the better of the manufacturing industry.