MCADCafe Weekly Review March 1st, 2017

APSX Bringing Injection Molding To The Desktop
February 23, 2017  by Jeff Rowe

It wasn’t all that long ago that manufacturing machines, such as 3D printers and CNC mills were relegated to the factory floor because of their size and tendency to need or produce undesirable compounds, such as coolants, smoke, chips, solvents, etc. Today, however, there are a number of desktop 3D printers and milling machines available. Until relatively recently, though, one of the major manufacturing processes that hadn’t appeared on the desktop was injection molding. That’s about to change with the advent of the APSX-PIM desktop plastic molding machine from Advanced Production Systems (APSX).

Injection molding machines are known for being large and expensive machines that require significant infrastructure, steep learning curve, and high maintenance. For these and other reasons most individual makers and small businesses don’t have access to an injection molding machine, so APSX decided to make one that could be used by organizations with budget and space constraints.

Controlled from a 10″ touch screen tablet control panel, the APSX-PIM works by compressing a spring to create the injection pressure, and injecting the melted plastic material into an aluminum mold. This small plastic injection molding machine is easy to setup and operates as fully automatic (fedd/inject/eject) with sensors and electronic temperature control with no need for a water supply for cooling.

According to the company, the APSX-PIM can cost less than typical conventional molds. That brings up the issue of cost. The company is nearing the end of a Kickstarter campaign for scaling up production capacity. If the campaign is successful, the cost of the APSX-PIM could be under $10,000. If the campaign is not successful, price for the machine will be $12,500.

 

The APSX-PIM Plastic Injection Molding Machine

The PIM was entirely designed by APSX using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 and Geomagic Design and is being manufactured in Cincinnati, OH.

Specs on the APSX-PIM include:

  • Piston Dia [in]: 1
  • Injection Volume [cu-in]: 1.83
  • Injection Pressure [PSI]: 5000
  • Clamping Force [lbs]: 15000
  • Opening Stroke [in]: 6
  • Ejector Stroke [in]: 3
  • Weight [lbs]: 250
  • Max Mold Size [in]: 4.8 (W) X 6.0 (H)
  • Min Mold Height [in]: 4
  • Machine Dimensions [in]: 43 (L) X 12 (W) X 15 (H)
  • Max Processing temp [F]: 600
  • Power Supply [V]: 115
  • Heating Power [W]: 1200
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Plastic Materials for Injection: HDPE, PP, TPO, PS, ABS, or any other plastic material with a melt flow rate greater than 15 g/10 minutes.

 

APSX-PIM Machine Layout (All Dimensions In Inches)

 

As with any injection molding machine, the APSX-PIM must be vented to dissipate hot plastic fumes and prevent them from accumulating.

Orders for the patent-pending machine are being taken today from the company’s website and delivery is approximately four weeks, as the company is in the process of building several machines.

Who could benefit from this machine? APSX claims that CNC machinists, product design studios, high-tech medical equipment manufacturers, mold manufacturers, injection molders, engineering and technical schools, and DIY hobbyists could benefit.

 

APSX-PIM Desktop Plastic Injection Molding Machine

 

Technology is ready for MBD, and so is SOLIDWORKS. Model-Based Definition (MBD) is the ASME Y14 series method for defining a product using its 3D model geometry as the basic dimensions in conjunction with the digitally associated 3D annotations as the geometric tolerance definition. Additional related Model-Based “X” exist (representing functional areas such as: Systems Engineering, Manufacturing, and Quality), but MBD births the product as it moves into downstream lifecycle processes.

SolidCAM: Patented Wizard to optimal feeds & speeds
MasterCAM


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