The increasing demand for micro-injection molding process technology and the corresponding micro-molded products have materialized in the need for models and simulation capabilities for the establishment of a digital twin of the manufacturing process. The opportunities enabled by the correct process simulation include the possibility of forecasting the part quality and finding optimal process conditions for a given product. The present work displays further use of micro-injection molding process simulation for the prediction of feature dimensions and its optimization and microfeature replication behavior due to geometrical boundary effects. The current work focused on the micro-injection molding of three-dimensional microparts and of single components featuring microstructures. First, two virtual a studies were performed to predict the outer diameter of a micro-ring within an accuracy of 10 µm and the flash formation on a micro-component with mass a 0.1 mg. In the second part of the study, the influence of microstructure orientation on the filling time of a microcavity design section was investigated for a component featuring micro grooves with a 15 µm nominal height. Multiscale meshing was employed to model the replication of microfeatures in a range of 17–346 µm in a Fresnel lens product, allowing the prediction of the replication behavior of a microfeature at 91% accuracy. The simulations were performed using 3D modeling and generalized Navier–Stokes equations using a single multi-scale simulation approach. The current work shows the current potential and limitations in the use of micro-injection molding process simulations for the optimization of micro 3D-part and microstructured components.
- Micro-injection molding
- Micro replication
- Process simulation
Loaldi, D., Regi, F., Baruffi, F., Calaon, M., Quagliotti, D., Zhang, Y., & Tosello, G. (2020). Experimental Validation of Injection Molding Simulations of 3D Microparts and Microstructured Components Using Virtual Design of Experiments and Multi-Scale Modeling. Micromachines, 11(6), . https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060614