Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Plastic Kit design/production
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Puerto Rico
Member Since: April 11, 2006
entire network: 245 Posts
KitMaker Network: 9 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 02:41 AM UTC
Hello Guys!

Maybe this has been asked before, but I have a question I had been wondering for a while.

Are plastic kits now being designed in CAD, and maybe CNC used for mould die fabrication, or are the masters are still scratchbuilt and used for die fabrication?

Just curious, since there much advances in desing and tool/diemaking out there.


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Arkansas, United States
Member Since: June 29, 2009
entire network: 11,610 Posts
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Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 07:57 AM UTC
I know Dragon/Cyber Hobby are designed using a cad progam. I believe all of the resin am is cast from the original. I'm not sure about the rest of the companies.
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California, United States
Member Since: December 06, 2004
entire network: 3,694 Posts
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Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 08:28 AM UTC
I know Fine Molds also uses CAD/CAM with some manual clean-up and additions of details.
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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: March 01, 2004
entire network: 3,123 Posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - 12:54 PM UTC
I can pretty much guarantee all the major injection companies use CAD to design models now. It allows them to not only check for fits and ensure that the mould draft is properly incorporated and runners are properly designed, but it also allows them to send the files out to mould making companies anywhere in the world to reduce costs as CNC mould cutting machines work more quickly and accurately with the CAD files. There are simply too many advantages not to do it this way.

Even in the "old days" injection moulds were not cut solely from master patterns, The main part shapes would have been using fine pantographs to copy shapes, but then the fine details would be added manually by skilled tool & die makers.

CAM programs linked to the CAD model also allow moulding companies to makle sure that the plastic flow, heating & cooling are optimised to reduce moulding problems & short shots.