Manufacturing multi-material articulated plastic products using in-mold assembly

TitleManufacturing multi-material articulated plastic products using in-mold assembly
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPriyadarshi A, Gupta SK, Gouker R, Krebs F, Shroeder M, Warth S
JournalThe International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Pagination350 - 365
Date Published2007///
ISBN Number0268-3768

In-mold assembly can be used to create plastic products with articulated joints. This process eliminates the need for post-molding assembly and reduces the number of parts being used in the product, hence improving the product quality. However, designing both products and molds is significantly more challenging in case of in-mold assembly. Currently, a systematic methodology does not exist for developing product and processes to exploit potential benefits of in-mold assembly for creating articulated joints. This paper is a step towards creating such a methodology and reports the following three results. First, it presents a model for designing assemblies and molding process so that the joint clearances and variation in the joint clearances can meet the performance goals. Second, it describes proven mold design templates for realizing revolute, prismatic, and spherical joints. Third, it describes a mold design methodology for designing molds for products that contain articulated joints and will be produced using in-mold assembly process. Three case studies are also presented to illustrate how in-mold assembly process can be used to create articulated devices.