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Proto Labs, Inc.
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Proto Labs Launches Quick-Turn 3D Printing Capabilities
MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.— Rapid manufacturer Proto Labs, Inc. has announced new enhancements to its Fineline Additive Manufacturing service that will enable the prototyping and low-volume production company to ship 3D-printed parts in as fast as one day. Designers and engineers using either stereolithography (SL) or selective laser sintering (SLS) can upload 3D CAD models at protolabs.com to see if their designs qualify for quick-turn service.
Proto Labs incorporated additive manufacturing into its existing CNC machining and injection molding services in April 2014, and has since been building its 3D printing capabilities to match the production speeds of its machining and molding processes.
“We’re extremely excited that customers can now get additive parts built with the same one- and two-day turnaround time as our other manufacturing services,” said Rob Connelly, vice president of additive manufacturing at Proto Labs, in a press release.
Stereolithography translates CAD models into physical plastic parts by laser-curing liquid thermoset resin into thousands of thin layers until a final part is formed; selective laser sintering works in a similar fashion, but draws onto nylon powder to form a desired shape. Both processes are used regularly to create concept models, complex parts, and other prototypes for nearly any field.
“We work with engineers every day who are developing products in industries like medical, lighting, and aerospace, and many need parts as fast as possible in order to bring products to market faster,” said Connelly. “It’s our goal that the new quick-turn additive capabilities will make it even easier for them to do just that.”
Proto Labs (www.protolabs.com) is an online and technology-driven manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. By using high-speed injection molding, CNC machining, and additive manufacturing processes, Proto Labs is able to produce parts within days, providing what it calls “an unprecedented time-to-market value” for product developers and engineers.
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