NX Mold Wizard: Impressive Commands
This 3-part article will discuss a few of the commands within NX Mold Wizard functionality that indicate the level of sophistication of the cross-applicational software product. Part 2 covers the step that actually builds the majority of the mold assembly structure, even guides, ejector plates, and stripper plates.
Initializing an Entire Mold Wizard Project from One Dialog
The reason a project must first be defined is due to its ability to create an assembly structure, use part templates, develop interpart links, and place information. This information includes metadata, attributes, expressions, and who-knows-what-all in the various parts within the mold structure.
This is all done automatically, without the user needing to worry about which part and what information. Mold Wizard even changes to the appropriate Work Part as dialog displays!
Initializing a New Mold Wizard Project
First, we start out with an opened part file, usually the Master Model that is to be molded.
Whether any of the Molded Part Validation or Flow Analysis has been run or not, the project can be initialized. Just as in Part 1 of this series, the Mold Wizard application must be started first.
NX Ribbon Bar
One unique thing about Mold Wizard, like other NX modules, is that a part file must first be opened before the application can be selected from the File drop-down. Otherwise, the default Ribbon Bar only contains the tabs for Home, Tools, and Help. One exception is if a dynamic rotation device (“Spaceball”, “SpaceMouse”, etc.) is installed. Therefore, access to the Initialize Project icon isn’t available until the Mold Wizard tab is displayed.
After starting NX and opening a part file, the Mold Wizard application can be turned on under File->All Applications…
However, if a part file was opened, the Mold Wizard application was started, and then that part file was closed, then the Mold Wizard tab is still available in the NX Ribbon Bar. A few of the icons will be available in the tab.
Selecting Initialize Project while a file is already open brings up the Initialize Project dialog. When no file is open, choosing Initialize Project will bring up an Open Part dialog. Notice that when selecting a part file, the Initialize Project dialog opens anyway. Either way, NX will automatically select the solid body as the product part.
You can select the following options:
- Path – the location (local or network) where all the parts of the project are to be saved.
- Material – when selected, a Shrinkage value is automatically set to that of the value in the library material.
- Configuration – there are 3 options:
- V1 – a very robust default structure
- ESI – “Early Supplier Involvement”, easiest for doing analysis and part validation
- Original – similar to Mold.V1 but smaller assembly structure
This option is used when existing attributes are available in the opened part file.
- Project Units – automatically set to that of the product part but can be changed to the alternate unit if desired.
- Rename Components – brings up a secondary dialog which allows the naming (renumbering) of components in the assembly structure.
After setting all options as desired and choosing OK, there will be a short delay while Mold Wizard builds the assembly structure, links, features, and metadata. The graphics area will flash a bit with a cube shape or possibly blank while it constructs this intricate assembly. Watch the Status Line flash away while your Mold Project is being created.
When finished, the graphics area might not look different at all or you may see a slight difference in the geometry of the part. That’s mainly because you are now looking at an assembly and not the original product part anymore.
Choose the Assembly Navigator to see the Mold Wizard’s work.
Expand the entire structure (right mouse button on header->Expand All Components).
Choose Yes in the Expand All Components popup window.
This is an NX10 enhancement that allows you to get an updated version of all components and subassemblies.
Once updated, notice the various levels of the mold assembly. Also notice that the actual product part is a component at the lowest level of the assembly structure and that it is hidden.
Within the above structure, subassemblies have been created that contain linked geometry between them. This accommodates the various facets of a mold such as core and cavity definitions, parting surface(s), cooling, shrinkage, and many more!
As mentioned in Part 1, commands like Check or Define Regions, Define Cavity and Core, or Ejector Pin Post-processing, NX Mold Wizard will automatically change the Displayed or Work part to accommodate and divest all the data into appropriate components and subassemblies.
There are also commands that can access libraries of parts and data that will usually be automatically adapted to suit the mold, configuration, type, and other parameters that you have defined. These can include Slides and Lifters, Sub-inserts, Gates, Runners, Pockets, Ejector Pins, and many more.
This concludes Part 2 of the Mold Wizardry blog series.
In the next installment, Part 3 – Creating a Workpiece, we’ll see how Mold Wizard creates bodies within the mold assembly structure that can be used several different ways as inserts in the cavity or core side of the mold.