Creating tooling for large injection molded plastic products.
Application: CAD, CAM (Computer Aided Drawing / Machining)|
Network: TCP/IP & NetBIOS over Ethernet 10BaseT.
Workstations: 2 AAx K6 and K7 PCs running Windows 98, 2000
World Connect: DSL, protected by 3Com Firewall 25 router.
Client since: 1994
AAx Does: Network, Support, Computers, Data Recovery.
Three D Plastic's Tool & Die Shop creates the tooling for their large injection molding operation. We consider the tool & die shop a separate client from Three D Plastics because it's needs are so different, and it orders work independently from the business office.
Tooling is designed using SolidWorks, a 3D (three dimensional) modeling program. This is a very demanding package and is run on a 700-MHz K7 Athlon computer (built by Automation Access) under Windows 2000.
Master CAM is used to convert designs into instructions for the three
numerically controlled machining centers. One of the machining centers is
Here is one half of a typical mold. Machined from a single slab of aluminum tooling plate, it is about three feet long. The two halves are clamped together by the molding machine and molten plastic is injected between the two. When the two halves are separated, the plastic part drops out.
The tool and die shop's computers are in a small trailer attached to the actual
tool shop. It's a bit cramped, but this gives them some protection from the
oil and coolant mist and metal fragments that are part of every machining
operation. These three computers have been rebuilt by Automation
Access several times - all started out as 486s, but two are
now 500-MHz K6s and one is a 700-MHz K7 Athlon.