In this Q&A interview, Craig Tappe, Sales Engineer at Accumold discusses various aspects of the micro molding process, and discusses why it is important to ensure that when short-listing your preferred suppliers, the correct questions are asked.
You need to understand what micro molding can do in terms of stimulation of innovation, what it can deliver in terms of manufacturing efficiency, and what - above all - it can do to achieve increased functionality in parts that are often required to be smaller and smaller
When using micro AM, by week 7 a design can have been refined numerous times as the process requires no traditional tooling, just DRST. This means that time and focus in this early stage of product development can be spent on design optimization.
When manufacturing micro parts and components, it takes a coordinated team of experts in design, materials, tooling, molding, validation, and automated assembly to successfully manufacture customer parts at high volume.
You need to understand the basic design approach and really bottom out what you can and cannot do, as when micro molding, even the smallest design change can be catastrophic and completely derail a project.
Measurement should be a central consideration in every quote issued by a micro molder. If a micro molder can make the steel micro tool, and subsequently mold the part, sure as night follows day it will need to be measured.
Microfluidics is an extremely dynamic niche today, and will continue for many years to cement the importance of micro molding as a technology used to drive innovation in the medical sector in such applications as drug delivery devices, implants, and diagnostics
Perhaps like no other, the field of microelectronics exemplifies the drive towards miniaturization, the obvious reduction in size of everyday household appliances and cell phones showing the extent to which products containing electronic components have been reduced in size.
The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc., founded in 1930, is a worldwide technical society for wire and cable industry professionals. Based in Madison, Connecticut, USA, WAI collects and shares technical, manufacturing, and general business information to the ferrous, nonferrous, electrical, fiber optic, and fastener segments of the wire and cable industry. WAI hosts trade expositions, technical conferences, and educational programs.