Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering - Leading Process and Product Improvement

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IME 4590 - Mold Design and Construction

Catalog Description:

Mold and die design, processing and part requirements, molded holes and undercuts, threads, tool-making processes, tooling, materials, special fixtures. Mold and die construction using a wide range of cavity production methods. Computer analysis of temperature, pressure, and filling characteristics of a mold.

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisites: IME 2500 and IME 2540.

Credits: 3 hours

Lecture Hours - Laboratory Hours: (2 - 3)

Prerequisites by Topic:

  • An understanding of the product attributes and process design differences among the major plastics processes. (IME 2500 - Plastics Properties and Processes)
  • A basic understanding of the different types of tooling used to form plastics. (IME 2500)
  • An understanding of the various machining processes. (IME 2540 – Machining Processes)

Course Objectives:

At the end of the semester the student should be able to:

  1. Correctly apply design parameters to molds, dies, and tooling for plastics processing. (D)
  2. Identify and explain the function of component parts of molds, dies, and tooling for plastics. (A)
  3. Correctly specify mold and die construction materials based on the demands of the given application. (F)
  4. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of different methods of cavity generation. (A)
  5. Predict, simulate, and understand a plastics' flow characteristics within a mold.
    (B & C)
  6. Calculate basic requirements of mold and die components. (F)

Upper case letters in the parentheses at the end of each objective refer to the TAC of ABET (ET2K).

Performance Criteria:

The student should be able to:

Objective 1

  1. Correctly apply design parameters to mold and component drawings produced for this course. [2, 5]

Objective 2

  1. Correctly identify and explain the function of various mold components and elements either from a drawing, or when presented with such an item. [5]

Objective 3

  1. Be able to identify the factors most likely to affect material selection, and identify those factors for a given tooling component or element. [4]
  2. Specify several logical tooling materials, given the factors for a specific component or element. [4]

Objective 4

  1. List the strengths and weaknesses of a given method of cavity/core generation. [4]
  2. Use known strengths and weaknesses of cavity/core generation techniques to identify the techniques most appropriate for the production of a given component. [4]

Objective 5

  1. Use flow analysis software to simulate the behavior of molten plastics within a mold. [1, 4]
  2. Correctly interpret the results of a flow analysis. [1, 4]

Objective 6

  1. Calculate the distance between support pillars to achieve acceptable mold deflection. [2, 3]
  2. Calculate profile extrusion die dimensions required to optimize draw down and die swell. [3, 5]

Numbers in brackets refer to the method of evaluation as listed in the previous section.


Kazmer, D. O. (2007). Injection mold design engineering. Hanser. Munich, Germany. (TB)

Mold Design and Construction (lecture\lab supplement), 2009. (LM)

Engelmann, P. & Dealey, R. (2000). Injection mold design guidelines: Maximizing performance using copper alloys - Reprint of a nine part series. Modern Mold and Tooling. New York: Copper Development Association. (CDA)

Dealey, R. (2006). Injection Mold Design Interactive Tutorial (RD)


Shoemaker, J. M. (Ed.). (2006). Moldflow Design Guide. Munich: Hanser.

Course Coordinator:

Paul Engelmann
Western Michigan University
F-259 Parkview Campus
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-5336
Phone: 276-3350

Revision Date: Fall 2009


Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5336 USA
(269) 276-3350 | (269) 276-3353 Fax

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