Model Solution (LRD: London) launched its new ProtoTool program that improves the process for developing prototype tooling. The ProtoTool process saves customer’s time and money in the initial tooling process, simplifies the modification process for fine-tuning designs, and gets products to market faster.
Using a two-part tooling system for injection molding, Model Solution builds a custom mold-core (containing the cavity, core, slide cores, lifters and ejector parts), while using a standard mold-base. Using electrical discharge machining (EDM) technology, Model Solution produces strong steel mold-cores that last long and generate parts with better visual quality. Steel tooling can be used throughout pre-production runs, and if necessary, material can easily be added during the design verification process. Adding material to aluminum molds is a significantly more difficult process, and can result in missed schedules and cost overruns.
Beyond tooling for injection molding, Model Solution uses the ProtoTool process to produce parts as diverse as flat metal stampings, wireforms, flat springs, belleville washers, and machined components.
ProtoTool provides high quality tooling at a low cost and in less time. The robust steel mold-cores last longer than aluminum molds typically used for tooling.
One of the major challenges in the ProtoTool process is determining the manufacturability of a new part through DFM. Model Solution works with the customer to make any needed design adjustments to overcome tooling limitations, such as part draft angles or undercuts that may require lifters to be built into the mold-core. Most times the DFM process identifies those design features that are of key importance and results in a better designed part. Additionally, the ProtoTool process identifies part designs that are not feasible for manufacturing and will result in complications in the future.
Model Solution starts with a Design for Manufacturability (DFM) review of the project, which outlines the tooling design and highlights part design changes that may be needed to overcome tooling limitations. A number of iterations may be required before the part design is finalized and approved. Model Solution then manufactures the prototype tooling in-house using its advanced computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), machining, electrical discharge machining (EDM), finishing, assembly and inspection equipment.