Experimental Validation of Injection Molding Simulations of 3D Microparts and Microstructured Components Using Virtual Design of Experiments and Multi-Scale Modeling

Dario Loaldi, Francesco Regi, Federico Baruffi, Matteo Calaon, Danilo Quagliotti, Yang Zhang, Guido Tosello*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number614
JournalMicromachines
Volume11
Issue number6
Number of pages17
ISSN2072-666X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Modeling
  • Micro-injection molding
  • Micro replication
  • Process simulation

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