Injection Molding Shop

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The injection molding shop

Contents

Acknowledgements

  • Thanks to Michael F. from the Lansing Makers Network for alerting i3 Detroit to the availability of these machines.
  • Thanks to Jim K., Roger S., Nate W., Brian W., (someone please help with this list!) for hauling these unwieldy, messy, heavy machines from an unlit pole-barn in Ionia to our space under a tight deadline.

Shop Safety!

  • Keep shop area clear of debris, spills, and other hazards.
  • Wear eye protection at all time when using equipment.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Tie long hair back, remove dangling jewelery.
  • Take your time. Accidents happen because someone is in too big of a hurry.
  • Think about what you are doing. If something seems unsafe, it probably is.

Equipment

Consumables

ToDo List Notes

The intention of these ToDo lists is to maintain current answers to several different questions:

  • What do we need to do to make these machines a practical tool for our members?
  • How can I help with the injection molding project?
  • Is the project making good use of the shop space it occupies?
    • Is it making progress or is it stuck?
    • Does it have the specific resources/expertise it needs?
    • Does it have a practical roadmap to reach success?


What am I promising to do if I put my name in a "Contact" box?

  • Keep track of the status of that ToDo item
  • Help coordinate work on that ToDo item to avoid duplication of effort
  • Do as much (or as little) actual work on that item as your expertise and time allow.
  • Most importantly, if it stops being fun, make noise! Fail loudly! If you're not seeing the progress you want to see on your ToDo item, let people know, ask for ideas and help.


Injection Molding Shop Infrastructure ToDo List

Description Status Contact
Location West shop wall (proposed), East shop wall between kiln and paint storage(might not want paint above a 400+ degree tool) (proposed)
Exhaust system Note that what may appear to be a vent pipe with a red funnel is actually a chute for parts to fall down.
Cooling water supply We do not expect to need a chiller, but we do expect to need open-loop or closed-loop room-temperature water flow.
Compressed air supply for the smaller machine
Electrical power 240V 18A 3PH rating on large hydraulic pump motor

Heater power TBD, smaller machine TBD

Resin storage Some resin is in bins, some in paper bags, some in jugs.
Hydraulic fluid spill management for the larger machine Sheet metal pan under the machine (proposed), automotive oil pan until constructed.
Wheels/casters for easy relocation of machines (small machine maybe, the big machine has rubber feet for a reason, user death imminent)

Injection Molding Shop Support ToDo List

Description Status Contact
Mold Design CAE (software tool chain?)

Copy existing mold design (where to find examples?)

Safety: Oil, resin, people near hot surfaces. Fluids under high pressure. Rapidly closing molds.
Mold Fabrication Tool steel appears to be impractical for our shop.

Forged/rolled Al plate (specialized mold alloy) proposed. Alumold 500 is available from Alro. Expect to get many hundreds of shots with a conservatively-designed mold made from the right aluminum stock.

Process Control Temperature (two zones), pressure, cycle time, etc.
Reading List
Project plans/status/info on i3 Detroit wiki First injection molding wiki page (this page) has been started Dave S.


Arburg ALLROUNDER 150 ToDo List

Description Status Contact
Documentation Attempting to contact Arburg in Germany
Degrease more Grab a bucket of warm/hot water, put some purple power in it, wipe grease off machine. Dont get water in the oil reservoir
Move to new home
Wire
Replace key switch (f00f says he plans to rekey it)
Figure out fuses for thermal controls (they appear to be missing)
Cooling
Hydraulic fluid lost a bit in transit
Lower barrel to horizontal position Nate W.
Test Nate W.
Clean up small mold to test

Arburg C4b ToDo List

Description Status Contact
Electrical wires on machine: drooping/hanging wires, deteriorating insulation, no wiring diagram as yet.


Project Milestones

  • First photo of the Injection Molding Shop with machines and supplies in place
  • Electrical power supplied, machine turns on
  • Working pressure reached in hydraulic circuit with no visible leaks (working pressure reached in compressed air circuit with no audible leaks)
  • Cooling water flowing with no visible leaks
  • Stable temperature control observed
  • Melted plastic supplied to a mold
  • First example of molded plastic item using mold from the pole-barn.
  • First mold fabricated at i3 Detroit
  • First example of molded plastic item using mold fabricated at i3 Detroit