Detailed Design

Once the design concept and cost requirements have been set, it is time to complete the detailed design of our part. This is the time to make a final determination of the material the part will be molded from and select any other components that will be included in the final product (e.g., threaded inserts, screws, etc). For our molded part, the following aspects must be considered.

Function

  • Dimensional Requirements - All parts have geometrical requirements that must be met in order for the part to perform the task for which it was designed. In addition to functioning on its own, a part may also need to fit within an assembly of other components. Tolerances required to insure proper assembly and function must be evaluated and compared with tolerance ranges reasonable for the parts size and plastic material.
  • Strength Requirements - All parts are required to resist some amount of load. Regardless of whether the part is designed to continually support hundreds of pounds at elevated temperature or simply to support its own weight, efficient part design involves minimizing the amount of material and complexity required for proper part function.

Manufacturability

Often, features that would functionally perform well are difficult and thus expensive to manufacture. Features are sometime added that have no effect on function but facilitate assembly, testing, packaging, etc. An example would be a slot allowing easy part orientation and gripping by a robot. Complexity of part design can effect robustness of the manufacturing process, tooling maintenance, etc.

Appearance

Part appearance can be affected by many things to include part geometry, material, the molding process, and mold construction. If it is important for the part to have a certain "look", whether shinny or textured, this is the time to make that determination.