10 Best Mold Flow Analysis Software

Mold flow analysis through simulation software has become an essential tool for plastic injection molding design. By digitally modeling how melted plastic flows into a mold, engineers can identify and fix defects early in the design phase before committing to costly prototypes and machining. The best mold flow software balances accurate simulations with an intuitive interface to provide actionable insights into creating optimal molds and plastic parts.

This blog post examines 10 leading mold flow analysis software platforms for capabilities, unique features, accuracy, interoperability, and usability. Any engineer or company involved in plastic injection mold design can benefit from utilizing one of these mold flow simulation solutions.

Which software is used for Moldflow analysis?

Autodesk Moldflow is one of the widely used software solutions for Moldflow analysis. It specializes in simulating various aspects of plastic injection molding processes, including filling, cooling, warpage, and more. Autodesk Moldflow integrates with 3D design workflows, making it a popular choice among engineers and professionals in the field of plastic injection mold design.

Autodesk Moldflow

Autodesk Moldflow is arguably the most recognized and widely-used dedicated mold flow analysis software. It simulates filling, cooling, warpage, fiber orientation, and other key behaviors of plastic in molds. The customizable analysis visualizations provide in-depth insight into the injection molding process.

Autodesk Moldflow integrates into the 3D design workflow enabling engineers to test ideas and get feedback instantly without leaving CAD software. The database of over 4000 tested material models ensures accurate plastic behavior modeling. Automated design optimization streamlines iterating on the best mold designs. For professional mold makers, Autodesk Moldflow provides an industry-leading simulation solution.

SolidWorks Plastics

For existing SolidWorks users, SolidWorks Plastics provides an affordable in-CAD mold flow analysis tool. It allows meshing models and setting up simulations directly within SolidWorks. Plastics predicts mold filling, volume shrinkage, warp, sink marks, air traps, and other defects.

Visual reports provide color-coded graphics pinpointing issues. Recommendations help engineers optimize gates, runners, and cooling channels. The integrated simulation means designers can quickly evaluate plastic flow while creating CAD models. Plastics may not offer the advanced capabilities of Moldflow, but at a lower cost provides huge value for SolidWorks users.

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Moldex3D

Moldex3D provides professional-grade mold filling simulation plus capabilities for analyzing warpage, shrinkage, cooling quality, and fiber orientation. The meshing tools support even the most complex CAD geometries. Smart Molding Adviser suggests manufacturing parameter improvements.

Moldex3D works across all standard CAD programs by importing and exporting data bi-directionally. The customizable analysis process allows optimizing workflow for specific engineering needs. A Material Database Wizard assists dialing in accurate material models. For a full-featured mold flow analysis solution with high-end capabilities, Moldex3D is a top choice.

Sigmasoft

Sigmasoft specializes in robust 3D simulations for all internal volumetric effects happening during molding processes. Alongside filling and packing analysis, Sigmasoft also uniquely models shrinkage, warpage, sink marks, fiber orientation, temperature control, residual stresses and more.

The dynamic visualization tools make it easy to pinpoint issues. Automated optimization tools suggest design changes to improve quality and manufacturability. Sigmasoft also offers cloud simulation services for easier scalability. For engineers needing to dive deep into multiple aspects of injection molding physics, Sigmasoft provides leading-edge simulation capabilities.

Simcon simFLOW

simFLOW from Simcon provides an accessible mold filling analysis solution combining an easy-to-use interface with advanced simulation capabilities. It imports CAD models from all major formats for constructing digital molds to analyze. Flexible tools allow modeling simple cold runners up to co-injection molds with hot runners.

Automated meshing, parameterized templates, and optimization wizards simplify set up. Result visualizations readily identify fill time, weld lines, air traps and other defects. simFLOW facilitates modifying CAD geometry then rapidly re-simulating iterations. For high-end analysis made more user-friendly, simFLOW delivers huge value. A free version with limited capabilities aids learning.

e-Xstream Digimat

Digimat by e-Xstream specializes in multi-scale material modeling for highly accurate plastic flow simulations. It contains an expansive material database along with tools for easily modifying existing data or modeling new plastics entirely based on test data inputs.

Digimat directly imports meshes for faster problem set up. The human-centric interface simplifies customizing analyses by simply adding simulation steps. Detailed mold filling results reveal insights into improving manufacturability. For engineers involved with modeling complex materials like reinforced polymers, Digimat provides leading simulation technology.

CoreTech Moldex3D

For Yet Another CAD system (YAC) users, CoreTech offers an integrated mold flow analysis solution with the Moldex3D simulation engine. After modeling plastic components in YAC, engineers can mesh, set up fills, and run analysis scenarios right within the native CAD environment.

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Key results rendered back onto models reveal potential defects and improvement opportunities. The integrated workflow allows rapid design iteration informed by injection molding physics simulation. CoreTech does limit capabilities for added materials, boundary conditions, and multi-component assemblies. But for single plastic parts, it provides huge workflow efficiency.

Sisame PlasFI

PlasFI mold filling simulation software from Sisame provides a nice balance between affordability, ease-of-use and advanced simulation capabilities. PlasFI makes it simple to import CAD models then guide engineers through setting up mesh, material selection, injection locations, etc. using templates.

Fast automatic meshing facilitates simulating concept iterations early on. The analysis visualization tools readily identify weld lines, air traps, fill times, and other key results. While lacking some customizeability of higher-end platforms, PlasFI empowers simulation-driven injection molding design at a more accessible price point.

OpenFOAM

OpenFOAM provides an open source computational fluid dynamics software capable of plastic injection mold filling simulations. It supports complex 3D geometries and flexible mesh creation. A vast array of solvers model thermals, turbulence, multiphase physics, and other effects in plastic flow.

While requiring more programming and Unix/Linux skills versus commercial packages, OpenFOAM allows complete access to modifying and extending core simulation capabilities. The open source community provides free materials models and simulations templates to build from. For companies with ample programming resources, OpenFOAM offers a free mold flow analysis option.

Rem3D

As a browser-based workflow collaboration platform for injection molding, Rem3D offers entry-level mold filling analysis capabilities along with its other strengths. After importing CAD models, basic meshes and midpoint surface meshes can be generated for simulations.

Key mold flow results like fill time, pressure at flow front, shear rate and temperature are rendered back on the 3D geometry. The cloud-based system allows collaboration across teams with automatically shared analysis data. For primary use collaboration and early concept evaluation, Rem3D provides initial mold flow analysis integrated with its other tools.

Conclusion

Today’s wide range of simulation software empowers engineers to leverage mold flow analysis and dramatically optimize injection molds through digital prototyping. Platforms like Autodesk Moldflow, SolidWorks Plastics, and Moldex3D provide robust capabilities tailored for plastic mold design. Open source options like OpenFOAM allow customization for advanced users. Any engineer or company involved in injection molding can integrate mold flow analysis into better product development workflows using these simulation tools.

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