Plastics part designFocus on the complex characteristics of plastics materials and the manufacturing process in AIM Institute’s Plastics Part Design course.

Students will learn to evaluate the feasibility of producing a strong plastics part design- considering cost, material and manufacturing methods. They will also learn the need to clearly define a product and establish product specification prior to the part design. Students will study the complex interaction of plastics part design, tool design, process and material. In particular students will learn to engineer plastic parts realizing the influence of process, time, temperature, strain, strain rate, fatigue and environment on standalone and assembled products. Students will also learn to design for various assembly and decoration needs.

Topics Covered

Upon completion of this course it is expected that the student should have reasonable competency in each of the following:

  1. Be able to understand the need for, and to be able to develop, product specifications. This includes understanding performance vs. design specifications.
  2. Be able to identify the optimum plastic materials for a given application. This includes evaluation of material cost as influenced by its physical properties and processing.
  3. Be able to develop the cost for producing a plastic part.
  4. Understand the critical relationship between material, process, tooling and part design required to successfully design plastic parts for manufacturability. This includes understanding the logic behind common design guidelines used for plastic parts and the flaws in these guidelines.
  5. Understand the unique characteristics of plastic materials and their relationship to the design and performance of plastic parts. This includes an understanding of how to design for the variable effects of time, temperature, strain, strain rate and humidity using graphical data.
  6. Be able to understand the use of composite shapes and materials in the design of plastic parts and be able to calculate the moment of inertia, deflection and stresses developed in these.
  7. Have a basic understanding of legal and ethical issues related to product design
  8. Understand the more common assembly methods used with like and unlike materials. Be able to design and engineer common part assembly features including consideration of thermal expansion with unlike materials.
  9. Understand the primary methods of decorating plastic parts and their relationship to product design and material
  10. Understand the use of computer technologies in plastic product development. This includes creation and modification of surface and solid models, manipulation of these computer models for manufacturability and structural analysis, and use of injection molding simulation for product design.


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