Design and analysis of a reconfigurable discrete pin tooling system for molding of three-dimensional free-form objects
Koç, Bahattin and Thangaswamy, Sridhar (2010) Design and analysis of a reconfigurable discrete pin tooling system for molding of three-dimensional free-form objects. (Accepted/In Press)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rcim.2010.07.017
This paper presents the design and analysis of a new reconfigurable tooling for the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) free-form objects. The proposed reconfigurable tooling system comprises a set of matrices of a closely stacked discrete elements (i.e., pins) arranged to form a cavity in which a free-form object can be molded. By reconfiguring the pins, a single tool can be used in the place of multiple tools to produce different parts with the involvement of much lesser time and cost. The structural behavior of a reconfigurable mold tool under process conditions of thermoplastic molding is studied using a finite element method (FEM) based methodology. Various factors that would affect the tool behavior are identified and their effects are analyzed to optimally design a reconfigurable mold tool for a given set of process conditions. A prototype, open reconfigurable mold tool is developed to present the feasibility of the proposed tooling system. Several case studies and sample parts are also presented in this paper.
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