Molded parts that are almost invisible to the naked eye need to be non-
Traditional production methodsPrecision MicroInjection mold. Micro-
Technical research institutes, research companies and some highly specialized mold manufacturers are leading the research and development of molds.
Designing and manufacturing a mold with a cavity of the size of the vent is not a small trick, the details are best observed through a microscope.
However, considerable progress has been made in the production of MM-level toolsand micron-
Meet the growing demand for biomedical, pharmaceutical and fiber
Office-optical, electronic, Telecom
Automation, computer and automotive.
Ron Peterson, general manager of Micromold Inc. , said: \"The demand is getting bigger and the size of the parts is getting smaller and smaller . \"
He\'s an injection mold in Riverside, California.
\"Some of the parts that are forming today are so small that 0. 005-
In, the defect will be as large as some molded features on the part.
\"A few years ago, traditional tool manufacturers laughed at Micro
Philip Leopold, president of Murray, said: \"The mold specifications required for molding applications and production . \"
This makes a micro
Injection molding machine for molding parts of sesame size.
Some of these parts involve overforming in two separate molds, even in one tool, with a combination as fancy as peek and silicone rubber.
Another company, micro tools and molds (MTD)
, creating a micro mold for parts that are only 0. 060 in.
The wall thickness drops to the length of 0. 0015 in.
And weighing as small as 0. 00013 g.
\"This is equivalent to 520 copies per grain,\" said v Donna Biber. p.
Sales and marketing.
The gate size used by the molds of these parts is reduced to 0. 002 in.
The core pin is only 0. 0045 in. diam.
Mold manufacturers are taking the traditional mold challenge
Manufacturing technologies such as milling and discharge processing (EDM)
New ways are also being explored.
A company uses technology in the semiconductor and watchmaking industries to produce miniature molds.
Some of the leading developers are from abroad, such as Mimotec S. A.
Switzerland has developed a technology for manufacturing tool components using UV and electroplating.
Japan\'s third five precision uses proprietary Micro
Milling technology makes miniature molds for its sister molding company, Makuta TechCrunch, which has a factory in the city of Ind Columbus cloth. R&D in micro-
Milling, EDM and laser technology are taking place at the German and Boston campuses of the fraunhove Institute, which has also developed a brand
A new method of combining milling with plating. In the U. S.
, The powerful promoter of MTD
It uses special EDM technology to make micro-
Micro core and cavity.
Tool technology can pass the feature dimensions they can usually achieve, the aspect ratio of the parts that can be realized (height/width)
The materials used to form the core and cavity, precision, strength and durability, and the speed of mold production, Dr.
Luz Weber, general manager of thinXXS Microtechnology, derivative of Mainz Institute of Microtechnology, Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
The factors he cited may vary greatly in different processes and can produce miniature parts of different ranges.
ThinXXS is developing and using many technologies that can produce micro-products
Molded components and gain expertise in the ins and outs of each method.
ThinXXS has eight assessment process technologies in its facilities, covering both traditional and more exotic or development technologies.
Roster includes Super
Precision milling, EDM, laser cutting, Silicon Micro
Uv or x-processing, plating
Ray exposure and electronicsbeam (e-beam)lithography.
These techniques generate typical feature sizes from 0.
Depending on the process and the aspect ratio of 1 to 1000, 5 to 100 microns.
Building materials range from hardened steel to nickel, nickel, and even Silicon.
No small challenge
Mold designers and builders must face many key issues. \"Parting-
Line matching is a big problem.
\"Here, it is unacceptable to form larger parts that are considered good,\" Murray\'s Leopold said . \".
Interlocking function to ensure accurate matching of the half part of the mold can reduce the mold separationline issues.
Another key factor is the gate.
\"The parts are too small to cut the door,\" Leopold said . \".
As we all know, Molders can use a microscope or a high-
Camera and surgical scissors.
One way is to create a sub-door. \"A 0. 1-mm-diam.
Since there are shear and pressure problems that need to be dealt with, the gate may be the lower limit.
We usually start at 0. 1-
\"Mm tab gate and zoom in on it as needed to fill the part,\" Leopold said . \".
The diameter of the runner and gate is another concern because of the total volume of melting
Delivery channels can exceed 100 times or more of the parts.
Murray usually uses 1-mm-diam. sprue and a 0. 5-to 1-
Mm a few millimeters long. Multi-
The cavity method of the micro mold is being studied.
Because the cavity is very small, very small
So far, mold designers have only favored singleand dual-
Cavity mold is a means to achieve maximum control of the process.
\"Runners and gates are always much larger than the actual parts, and there are multiple cavities that generate a lot of material waste and increase the possibility of flash or short guns, says Weber of thinXXS.
\"However, in the case of simple miniature parts, we can overcome these limitations by a new method called plastic wafer technology, this allows us to mold dozens or even hundreds of miniature parts on the wafer.
\"Mimotec also uses chips-
Tool-based processes (see below)
There is a micro production in Switzerland.
16-molded partscavity tool.
There are also Micro Research to create standards
The mold base will allow the exchange of the core and cavity to allow faster conversion and setting, Murray\'s Leopold said.
The original development was in the prototype of the micro moldmolding.
Flow analysis is another area in the development of micro-molds.
Biber of MTD says it is not easy to know the flow, shrinkage and stress of the material accurately ---
Or optimize process parameters such as temperature, pressure and injection rate--
Due to the small number of CAE developments for micro tools. \"Micro-
Forming with such a small volume of material can lead to a very short cycle time.
\"Because the cycle time is short, there is no way to get accurate flow analysis,\" Biber said . \". MTD and flow-
Simulation software giant mobile flow
Developing the first process
Micro analysis softwaremolding.
Some work is going on at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
The new Spark is specialized in the application of EDM micro-machining in MTD.
\"We have been using EDM for more than 30 years.
We have learned how to develop our own tools.
This allows us to produce complex parts . \"
MTD also uses lead drop, wire cut discharge processing method.
The use of a sinking method on a micro tool requires very fine control of the \"piston (electrode)travel.
The cnc edm machine for MTD provides only 1 step or movement increment. 5 microns.
The MTD also uses an optical microscope mounted on the EDM machine to view the settings-
Ups and processes.
In order to apply EDM on a micro-scale, the MTD uses brass or zinc-
Coated Wire from 0 size. 01 in.
Down to 25 microns
\"The smaller the wire, the smaller the feature, the higher the chance of breaking the wire,\" Biber notes . \".
The process starts with the \"start hole\" of 0. 006 to 0. 040 in. diam. (This \"hole-\"Pop up\" is out-sourced. )
While this method takes longer than sinker EDM, the tiny wire allows for a better surface finish in the tool.
MTD sometimes combines these two methods. -
Use EDM to produce a sink electrode that cuts fine details directly into steel.
The EDM development aimed at using smaller wires is being carried out at the fraunhove Production Technology Institute (IPT)in Aachen.
The institute is working with Agie at Los Tong, Switzerland, to develop 20-micron diam.
The Agie EDM unit uses a linear servo drive to control the wire tension more precisely and prevent disconnection.
This system is used to manufacture gears with tolerances in [range]+ or -]
Use only 2 microns of 1.
35 pound pull.
Agie has also developed a line discharge device with two wire shafts of different diameters.
Smaller lines allow smaller features to be processed and faster trimming. Micro-
The traditional milling machine
is being modified to meetprecision work.
Fraunhofer IPT and Fraunhofer USA manufacturing innovation center are designing a special milling machine with air bearing and spindle, which can provide more stable when the cutter touches the mold surface
The machine was designed at 30-Nano steps
\"Most CNC milling machines do not have this level of precision.
Dave Chagin of the United States said: \"The traditional CNC has a step size that is too large for the function being formed . \"S.
Project manager. He says a 1-to 3-
Micron steps are typical for traditional machines. The new air-
The bearing spindle can create smaller functions-
To 10 microns.
Frauenhoff is also experimenting with a new type of fluid spindle bearing.
The milling machine also uses precision-
Grinding diamond cutting tools.
\"The diamond tool has sharp edges that can be made into 200-micron diam.
It creates very good details, very smooth, optical-
Surface quality of parts.
Frauenhoff is cutting diamonds with ultrasonic vibration --edged tools.
Unfortunately, although diamond tools work with nickel, aluminum and copper tools, they cannot cut steel.
For milling steel, hard alloy tools can be made with smaller diameter
To 125 microns.
\"These tools are not as sharp as diamond tools, and the surface is not as smooth, but they can be smaller in diameter,\" Chargin said . \". The new ultra-
The piece of metal that the precision machine requires to grind is absolutely flat, so fraunhove uses the fly
Cut the surface before processing.
At the same time, Sansyu Precision developed a highspeed ultra-
Precise milling method for manufacturing micro molds
Formed by its sister company Makuta and others.
Sansyu is considered the world\'s largest supplier of micro tools.
In the field of micro-molds alone, the company\'s annual business value is $80 million. Its micro-
Milling technology has been used to make three
Multiple moldsmaterial micro-molding.
A mold like this has 40 moving parts.
When the first and second materials go back and forth, half of the molds installed on the mobile platform of the injection molding machine (
It is reported that the milling process of Sansyu can maintain the characteristic tolerance [+ or -]
2 to 5 microns when cutting steel.
The tool has been used to produce twocolor 0. 25-mm-
0 thick part. 02mm-
Wide letters molded (see photo on p. 39).
Sansyu also cuts the mold for 24-tooth and 2-tooth gears. 6-
Mm and axis measurement 1. 11 x 0. 96 x 0. 64 mm.
Precipitation method to create a brand-
The new method of micro-tool manufacturing is uv-
Exposure technology previously used in the semiconductor industry. This so-
Called LlGAprocess, the positive model of the part is created using uv exposure technology.
The model is then plated to form a tool cavity.
Mimotec has reportedly developed the LIGA process for micro tools, which has five or six micro tools
Forming customers in North America.
\"We have more than 2000 micro molds in global commercial production, producing nearly 1 billion parts per year,\" said Robin Francois, North American sales manager, Swiss Agency Limited, representing Mimotec.
This process starts with the bottom of the glass or silicon or the \"wafer\", a layer of photo above
Epoxy resin can be cured by application.
Next, a thin chrome
The coating mask is located on the top of the epoxy.
The mask is cut out in the space to expose the epoxy resin below.
The UV rays hit the mask and harden the exposed epoxy to a depth of about 0. 020 in.
The first mask can be replaced with another mask to expose the other 0. 020-in, feature.
The total height of the feature can be 0. 060 in.
An epoxy resin hardened by nickel or nickel alloy plating, then the epoxy resin is dissolved, leaving a core or cavity.
Francois claims that the resulting components have a smoother surface finish than EDM, milling, or chemical etching.
Free production allowed for LIGA process-
The shape feature interval is only 10 microns.
Francois says this is compared to the minimum pitch of about 100 microns when using EDM or milling.
It is reported that the part size is as accurate [+ or -]2 microns.
The process also allows the production of multiple or home molds on one wafer.
\"Whether it\'s making a hole or making eight holes, the cost of La Liga is the same,\" Francois said . \".
LIGA can produce a mold assembly in six to eight weeks, which can last as long as the steel tool.
According to Francois, \"Some customers run up to 5 million cycles per cavity insert.
\"There are indeed some limitations to this technology.
First of all, it is expensive to make the original mask, but the mask can produce many molds.
Second, LIGA can shape the x and y axis of the mold in any ideal way;
However, the vertical axis must always be a straight wall, as the light source above cured the epoxy resin.
The fraunhove manufacturing innovation center is working with the Department of manufacturing engineering at Boston University to develop a system that combines flat-version processing strategies with ultra-version processing
Milling precision into a single technology.
The goal is to produce three fully assembled
A tool system capable of combining metal and polymer materials and spanning the size range from Micron to millimeter.
Ultra-precision manufacturing of self-assembled Microsystems (UPSAMS)
It is a deposition technique for making sacrificial layers and structural layers, both of which are ground to produce parts or cavities.
UPSAMS begins with sacrificial materials that are deposited to a plate or base by an electrolytic process to form a block.
For example, the sacrificial material can be epoxy or copper.
Use an ultra-precision milling tool, such as a tool with a diamond edge, to mill the cavity or negative shape of the desired tool shape into a sacrificial material.
A thick layer of structural material such as nickel or nickel alloy is then applied by electrolysis on the sacrificial layer.
The structural material covering the entire top surface of the sacrificial material is filled with a negative form of grinding to the surface.
Most structural materials are then ground to the level of the sacrifice layer, except for the positive form above the part being manufactured (
Can be projected on the sacrifice layer.
Then release the 3D component from the sacrifice material.
As a result, \"a kind of microstructure, as described by Axel Bixin, engineer at fraunhove IPT, as far as we know, in addition to the UPSAMS or perhaps a layered rapid prototyping process, no process can be used for manufacturing.
\"The UPSAMS allow the construction of real 3D shapes, and it is reported that exposure processes like LIGA cannot be achieved.
UPSAMS also provides a smooth surface that is difficult to achieve with milling alone.
Frauenhoff uses a combination of nickel and copper, which is used as a sacrifice layer.
This process has also been tried twice.
Part epoxy and sacrifice copper.
Other combinations include aluminum/copper and ceramic/metal.
A limitation of this process is that the diameter of the tool limits the size of the features of the part molded.
Progress of laser ablation
Arnold Ginner, MicroTechnical Department.
Institute of Laser technology in Fraunhofer
Laser ablation is a fast and effective micromachining.
\"Laser has been used for tools for five or six years, initially on larger tools.
But it\'s not cost. effective.
\"Since then, it has moved to smaller tool applications and has achieved some positive results,\" says Gillner . \".
He said the institute is working with the company to make tools for injection molds.
\"We now have four to five partners to develop this technology, and each partner has three to five mold projects.
\"Laser ablation is a pulse process in which the beam is turned on for 10 to 100 nanoseconds.
Longer pulses extend the heat exposure time of the workpiece, thus reducing the final surface quality.
The ablation process can be used
An infrared laser capable of reducing the beam diameter to 5 microns or an uv laser that produces a narrower beam--down to 355 nm. Newer diode-
The pump light puller with enhanced beam power and beam quality may help to provide better surface quality and smaller feature geometry.
The accuracy of the laser is about [+ or -]
1 micron, while the feature size can be as small as 10 microns.
Gillner claims that this laser can even wear very hard materials such as hard alloys and leave finished parts with good surface quality.
The laser can be used to shape any metal, as well as refraction or non-conductive materials, and for the laser, deposition ner cites the benefits of deposition technology or EDM.
However, the cost of laser-
Conventional Yag NTR lasers typically cost $250,000-
Much higher than other types of equipment.
Need to know more?
Brooklyn, United States. (617)353-1820 www. fhcmi.
Org Makuta process Co. , Ltd. Columbus, Ind. (812)379-4696 www. makuta.
Micro mold Co. , Ltd.
Riverside, California(909)684-7130 www. micromoldinc.
Miniature tools and molds
Charlton, Mass. (508)248-0111 www. miniaturetoal.
Com Mobile flow company. Wayland, Mass. (508)358-5848 www. moldflow. Murray company
Buffalo Grove is ill. (847)419-0090 www. nanomolding.
Brighton Swiss Agency Co. , Ltd. (617)283-9917 www. mimotec.
German company zweibuken 49 61-31-62-778-28 www. thinxxs.
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