SOLIDWORKS Plastics Material Database Updates Now Available on 3D CONTENTCENTRAL

One of the greatest challenges of populating and maintaining a plastics material database for injection molding simulation is the fact that plastics material suppliers are constantly developing and commercializing new materials. And in this blog post, we’re going to show you how Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS is collaborating with the world’s largest plastics material suppliers to ensure that our mutual customers have access to the most up-to-date and accurate plastics material data when it becomes available.

The update mechanism is simple – when new material grades become available, the material suppliers directly upload the data to 3D CONTENTCENTRAL, which then allows SOLIDWORKS Plastics customers to download, import and use the data immediately in SOLIDWORKS Plastics analyses – with no need to wait for the next service pack or major release. And to make sure that our customers never miss out on any plastics material updates, all new materials uploaded to 3D CONTENTCENTRAL by material suppliers will be included in subsequent service packs or major releases of SOLIDWORKS Plastics.

The easiest way to find the complete catalog of plastics materials available for download from 3D CONTENTCENTRAL is to navigate to the homepage (3D CONTENTCENTRAL) and in the upper left corner hover over the “Find” dropdown menu and choose “INJECTION MOLDING MATERIALS”.

You will then see the complete catalog of plastics materials with each individual listing including the material supplier, material family, trade name, grade and a short description (if available).

You can quickly download individual material data files by clicking on the Download SOLIDWORKS Plastics Material data link found on the left-hand side of any material listing. The downloaded file is a compressed binary file (*.bin) that you can extract to a local folder of your choice.

Once downloaded and extracted you can add the material to the SOLIDWORKS Plastics User-defined Database by navigating to the Plastics Manager in SOLIDWORKS and under Material/Polymer, right-click Open Database and then click User-defined Database. Next, select  Import Plastic Material, and then select File. Browse to the location of your downloaded/extracted material data *.bin file, select it and click Open. You can now select the imported material for use in SOLIDWORKS Plastics analyses*.

Today you can find over 30 new plastics materials on 3D CONTENTCENTRAL from suppliers including Chevron Phillips Chemical, RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers, Autotech SirmaxIndia Pvt. Ltd. and Indore Composite Pvt. Ltd. with material families that include nylons, polyethylenes and polypropylenes. Be sure to check back often for new material suppliers and their latest and greatest plastics material data.

Thanks for your time and consideration and we hope you find value in our efforts to improve the SOLIDWORKS Plastics material database.


*Tech Support Notes

In our ongoing efforts to improve and refine the accuracy of SOLIDWORKS Plastics solvers, we have added support for multi-point specific heat (C) and thermal conductivity (k) material data, since these properties (C & k) vary as a function of temperature. Incorporating this data relies on Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS collecting multi-point C & k data from material suppliers, adding the data into the SOLIDWORKS Plastics database and making changes to the underlying solver and meshing technology. As such, support for multi-point specific heat and thermal conductivity is as follows:

  •         Solid mesh support for variable specific heat & thermal conductivity is supported in SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2019 SP0 and later.
  •         Shell mesh support for variable specific heat & thermal conductivity will be supported as of SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2019 SP3 and later.

In addition, assuming multi-point, variable specific heat and thermal conductivity data exists for a given material, all new materials uploaded to 3D CONTENTCENTRAL and added to subsequent versions of the SOLIDWORKS Plastics material database will support this new capability.

Peter Rucinski

Peter Rucinski

My technical background is based on BS and MS degrees in plastics engineering from UMASS Lowell and a career focused on all things injection molding – simulation, plastics materials, part design, mold design, mold making and injection molding process troubleshooting & optimization. And I have been extremely fortunate to have developed business acumen that comes from being intimately involved in growing a small engineering software company ~7X in revenues while tripling headcount, successfully executing an IPO and multiple acquisitions, coaching product teams and developing the go-to-market strategy for numerous successful product launches.