The software helped seamlessly transform handdrawn, concept sketches into easy-to-assemble, injectionmolded parts. NX software from UGS, Plano, Tex., let injection molder Phillips Plastics, Phillips, Wis., use a single digital representation of the goggle to not only prove out styling and design, but also build working prototypes, evaluate mold filling options, and cut the final injection mold tool steel.
American Allsafe, Fenton, Mo., wanted a one-size-fits-all goggle that was low profile, lightweight, futuristic looking, and easy to assemble. A key consideration for the design team was devising a ventilation scheme that would let air freely pass in and out of the goggles while keeping chemical splashes out.
"We knew it would take dozens of design iterations to meet the design specs," says Phillips design team leader, Wayne Phillips. "That's one reason the suite of NX applications was chosen for the project." With its flexible platform, designers constrain or not constrain geometry as they see fit. This lets design changes take place quickly.
The hand-drawn renderings were first imported into NX along with a digital version of a human head ( previously laser scanned from a physical model). Baseline data such as lens thickness criteria from an optics expert was also imported. With the data Phillips could shape goggle surfaces using NX Industrial Design tools. The flexible toolkit features advanced rendering free-form shape modeling and capabilities that let Phillips create sleek surfaces that were also highly geometrically accurate. Additionally, the software lets designers analyze various color schemes, materials, textures, as well as lighting and studio effects.
Phillips next created SLA models from the NX files and from them created silicon molds from which to build urethane prototypes that closely resembled the finished product. "This let us ensure a snug and comfortable fit without spending lots of money to build an actual two-shot mold," says Phillips.
While the plastic part was being designed, the use of NX software also let Phillips keep an eye on how part features would affect machining of the injection mold tooling. Designers created parting lines and core and cavities, as a guide for the tooling designers and were able to transfer the NX data to moldflow-analysis software to evaluate mold filling. NX provides machining solutions for NC programming; integrated toolpath and machine simulation; postprocessing; shop documentation; and manufacturing resource management.
American Allsafe, (800) 231-1332,
Phillips Plastics, (715) 386-4320
UGS, (972) 987-3000,