User Story

JK Mold Design : R&B Mold & Die Design

John Kreutzberger, owner of Sacramento, CA-based JK Mold Design has been designing molds since 1977. He hung his shingle as a contract designer of injection molds in 1984. Back in the early days, he used a drafting table to create mold designs and eventually migrated to computer-aided 2D (CADkey), then to a CADkey add-on product that brought him into the 3D world. In 1998, he moved to full-blown 3D when he implemented SolidWorks software. He is also using MoldWorks software developed by R&B Mold & Die Design Solutions (Yokneam, Israel) and distributed by Neuvotec, Inc.(Cave Creek, AZ). MoldWorks is a 3D solid-based mold design application that offers innovative and intuitive design tools for the injection molding industry.

"When I moved from the drafting table to computer-based 2D, it was a step in the right direction," says Kreutzberger. "Today, however, that technology is definitely obsolete. It wasn't long before I began looking around for a more complete solution that offered more functionality."

His customers are mainly small, California-based mold shops. His biggest challenges are meeting ever-decreasing lead-time requirements and maintaining quality. His projects vary greatly. "I can't limit myself to the size or scope of a mold design," adds Kreutzberger. Hence, he creates small molds such as unit inserts, mold bases that are typically found in standard catalogs and large custom mold bases.

In addition, Kreutzberger uses the SolidWorks with MoldWorks combination to provide his customers with useable 3D models for CNC production capabilities. "I have to be able to generate accurate drawings that my clients can show their customers as well as 3D data for use on the shop floor," explains Kreutzberger. "The software allows me to quickly incorporate components from a great number of different suppliers." To date, every CNC platform that my different customers use has been able to import his 3D data from SolidWorks/MoldWorks. "My customers have been very happy with the 3D data that they obtain from me," notes Kreutzberger.

He also uses the Internet as a handy resource for accessing catalog items that are not available in MoldWorks. "While MoldWorks is a great tool that offers a tremendous library of commercial components, there are a lot of oddball items that I wouldn't expect software providers to include in their products - ones that pop up from time to time with some of my projects," says Kreutzberger.

Once he downloads geometry from a customer's website, he uses MoldWorks to easily create a MoldWorks-based user part. It becomes part of his personal library to be used again for another job, if necessary. Since implementing MoldWorks one year ago, he has been generating all his mold designs in a 3D solids environment. He adds, "Using MoldWorks is the most efficient methodology for accomplishing that goal. The most important requirement for doing that is to have a comprehensive solid library of standard mold bases and components from multiple manufacturers."

He investigated the SolidWorks MoldBase product before purchasing MoldWorks. "MoldBase didn't offer the breadth of choices that I needed. MoldWorks does," adds Kreutzberger. "The second important factor is that MoldWorks allows me to create the mold bases and associated components into my mold designs quickly. This functionality is where MoldWorks shines - having the interface and the ability to do a number of operations to the mold base using just one operation. For instance, I can add all the holes for the components, specify clearances, and drop a component into place at the correct length all in one operation. That's the main attraction of the software for me."

He says that MoldWorks is easy to learn and use. "There is a bit of a learning curve," adds Kreutzberger. "However, as a one-man shop, I didn't have the luxury of taking a week or more off for training. Within a few weeks, I was realizing productivity gains using the software. I got up to speed using the product quickly.

"Using MoldWorks, I can also be more critical of my own designs because the software allows me to make changes quickly and easily. I don't have to settle for a design that is less than optimum," Kreutzberger explains.

Since implementing MoldWorks, Kreutzberger has reduced his lead-time by twofold. For instance, it's typical for him to provide a complex mold design within 24 hours of receiving a customer's request. "I wasn't able to respond nearly as quickly before using MoldWorks," Kreutzberger adds.

For a recent single cavity mold design, Kreutzberger used some components that he created previously and stored in his MoldWorks library. As a result, the job progressed quickly since he didn't have to recreate the needed components. "The only changes I needed to make were moving some standard locations to make the mold inserts fit in the new mold base," adds Kreutzberger. "MoldWorks allows me to easily customize those types of efforts. Time saving features like that help me become more productive.

Also, I brought all the existing mold insets into the MoldWorks mold base to study them. As a result, I decided to make some changes. The MoldWorks recalculating function works very cleanly. Recently, I was about 10 percent into the design of a mold and I decided to use a different size mold base. So rather than start over, I was able to change the parameters with just the click of a button," Kreutzberger adds.

He's been pleased with the R&B Mold & Die Design Solutions operation. "They welcome customer input," says Kreutzberger. "I have been able to provide suggestions and recommendations for the next version of MoldWorks. The company is open and responsive and that's important for small operations like me," says Kreutzberger. He says he's enjoying using the current release, but also is looking forward to new versions of the software as it is developed.

For more information about R&B Mold & Die Design, visit

Author: Laura Carrabine

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Page last modified on March 29, 2002
Copyright 2002 by John Stark