Design of conformal porous structures for the cooling system of an injection mold fabricated by additive manufacturing process

Yunlong Tang, Zhengyang Gao, Yaoyao Fiona Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The cooling system of plastic injection mold plays a critical role during the injection molding process. It not only affects part quality but also its cycle time. Traditionally, due to the limitations of conventional drilling methods, the cooling system of the injection mold usually consists of simple paralleled straight channels. It seriously limits the mobility of cooling fluid, which leads to the low cooling efficiency for the parts with complex free-form surfaces. In this research, an innovative design method for the cooling system of an injection mold is proposed by using conformal porous structures. The size and shape of each cell in the conformal porous structure are varied according to the shape of an injection molded part. Design cases are provided at the end of this paper to further illustrate the efficiency of the proposed method. Compared with those existing design methods for the uniform porous structures, the proposed method can further reduce the nonuniformity of the mold surface temperature distribution and decrease the pressure drop of the cooling system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101702
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Conformal cooling
  • Design method
  • Injection mold
  • Porous structures

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