Digital manufacturing company, Protolabs
(NYSE: PRLB) has launched production capabilities for its metal 3D
printing service. The new capabilities use secondary processes to
improve the strength, dimensional accuracy, and cosmetic appearance of
metal parts. As part of the launch, enhanced inspection reporting is
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Protolabs’ metal 3D printing production capabilities help product developers and engineers optimize their designs to enhance performance, reduce costs, and consolidate supply chains. (Photo: Business Wire)
“We see it every day. The designers and engineers we work with in
industries like aerospace and medtech are choosing additive
manufacturing for complex components in high-requirement applications,”
said Greg Thompson, global product manager for 3D printing at Protolabs.
“These new production capabilities help them optimize their designs to
enhance performance, reduce costs, and consolidate supply chains—and do
so much faster than ever before.”
Protolabs uses direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology—which is
ISO 9001 and AS9100D-certified—to 3D print metal production parts. Once
parts are built, several secondary options like post-process machining,
tapping, reaming, and heat treatments are possible, and quality control
measures like powder analysis, material traceability, and process
validation are taken.
The production launch spotlights Protolabs’ effort toward advancing
industrial 3D printing beyond prototyping. “We’re committed to servicing
our customers’ needs throughout the product life cycle across both
conventional and additive manufacturing processes,” explained Thompson.
A number of recent steps that Protolabs has taken reinforce this
including joining GE’s
Additive Manufacturing Network and MIT’s
Additive Manufacturing Consortium along with teaming with Wohlers
Associates for an immersive 3D printing design course. The company has
also added capacity to support its growth with more than 25 GE Additive
Concept Laser Mlab and M2 machines for DMLS production.
Protolabs is the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for rapid
prototyping and on-demand production. The technology-enabled company
produces custom parts and assemblies in as fast as 1 day with automated
3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection
molding processes. Its digital approach to manufacturing enables
accelerated time to market, reduces development and production costs,
and minimizes risk throughout the product life cycle. Visit protolabs.com
for more information.