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Rapid Overmolding Service Reported to Speed Product Development
MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.–A new overmolding service launched by Proto Labs uses engineering-grade thermoplastics and liquid silicone rubber materials to produce custom overmolded prototypes and end-use production parts in quantities from 25 to more than 10,000, in 15 days or less, the company reported.
"This is a game-changer," said Proto Labs CEO Vicki Holt in a press release. "Proto Labs is focused on accelerating product development, and the introduction of rapid overmolding gives designers and developers at the world's largest companies one more tool to make high-quality prototype or low-volume production parts as quickly as possible."
Product designers and engineers use overmolding to improve grip and durability, dampen vibration, and to add two-color aesthetics to parts. The process can also reduce manufacturing costs by simplifying multi-part assemblies. As the name implies, overmolded parts go through a multi-step process that results in common products such as tool handles, personal care products, medical devices, and more.
"Proto Labs was able to deliver high-quality, overmolded parts in just 15 days from the time I placed the order," said Michael Ackner, a senior mechanical engineer at Smiths Medical and early Proto Labs overmolding customer, in the release. "This turnaround time allowed me to validate my design – using production-grade materials – much sooner than ever before."
More information on overmolding at Proto Labs, including design guidelines and material options, is available at protolabs.com/injection-molding/overmolding.
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