Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing and the future of dentistry

Published: 08/22

Major dental work traditionally takes days of time and effort but as technology evolves even complex treatment is possible in just a few hours thanks to digital technology.

Evaluating UV-Resistant Plastic Options

Published: 08/22

?Everyone knows they should apply sunscreen when lying on the beach or spending a lazy Saturday afternoon fishing. That’s because the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can wreak havoc on unprotected skin, causing a painful sunburn or worse. Polymers suffer similar damage from UV radiation, albeit more ...

Life-cycle Analysis (LCA): Challenges and Solutions

Published: 07/22

What is Life-cycle Analysis (LCA)? Life-cycle Analysis (LCA) is the comprehensive analysis of a product’s entire life cycle system in terms of sustainability.

Glass Transition Temperature of Polymers

Published: 07/22

There’s an important but often overlooked material consideration when designing parts for plastic injection moulding. It’s called Tg, short for glass transition temperature. We’ll get into the science behind it all later, but for now, just know that there is a temperature where amorphous materials ...

General Drones: Saving lives at sea with support from Protolabs

Published: 06/22

Reduced rescue times with Protolabs' MJF and SLS technology.

Challenges on the Horizon

Published: 06/22

The Aerospace industry is no stranger to innovation, but the twin challenges of the pandemic and the ongoing needs to address carbon emissions has left it with some difficult challenges on the horizon. These were clearly recognised from a Protolabs research project two years ago, Horizon Shift, but ...

Understanding Powder Bed Fusion Technology

Published: 06/22

Powder bed fusion (PBF) is an additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, technology that uses a heat source—typically a laser—to sinter or fuse atomised powder particles together. Like other additive processes this is done one layer at a time until the part is completed.

How can the European electric vehicle industry find its place on the global stage?

Published: 05/22

While the European electric vehicle industry has seen a surge in sales, many major OEMs are yet to make their presence felt on the EV stage and the region faces many challenges moving forwards.

Choosing a Heat-resistant Plastic

Published: 05/22

If you’ve ever left a food container in the microwave a bit too long, you’re aware that some plastics don’t handle high temperatures too well. Depending on the vintage and type of container, you might be storing last night’s dinner in polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), or polyethylene (PE), ...

From concept to prototype: An RS Components and Protolabs Masterclass

Published: 04/22

As an innovator and engineer, time is invaluable to your product development with an ever-growing importance to get your concepts to market faster than ever before, so it’s important to have the right tools at hand.

Advantages of Aluminium for CNC machined parts

Published: 04/22

Aluminium is one of the most popular materials for CNC machined parts – here are six reasons why.

3D Printing in New Industries

Published: 03/22

When we usually think of 3D printing our minds turn to a handful of familiar areas, such as intricate medical devices, hi-tech automotive parts or rapidly prototyping products that are going to go into mass production. However, over recent years we’ve seen the advantages offered by this technology ...

Picking the best material for CNC

Published: 02/22

If the sheer amount of choice between the different materials for CNC machining leaves you confused, then find out how you can hone the number down to a more manageable shortlist in this blog.

MJF vs SLS 3D printing – A head-to-head comparison

Published: 12/21

At first glance the relatively new 3D printing technology Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) may appear to be a replacement for selective laser sintering (SLS) after all both build parts from thermoplastic nylon but MJF is faster, more precise and produces more consistent mechanical properties throughout the ...

How to Design STL Files for 3D Printing in Your CAD Program

Published: 11/21

We know you have a range of CAD programs and file format options to choose from when designing and sharing your part designs. The STL file, short for stereolithography, is the primary CAD file format that’s used for additive manufacturing (3D printing) design projects. This tip covers how to ...

Protolabs’ One-stop Guide to Digital Manufacturing

Published: 11/21

?What is Digital Manufacturing? It’s the complete digital integration of automation and advanced technology throughout the manufacturing process – from the moment you upload a 3D CAD model to when we ship your physical parts out the door.

Fine-Tuning Tolerances for CNC Machined Parts

Published: 10/21

Over stringent tolerances may require secondary processes, which drive up costs. Tolerances that are too loose can foul on assembly. Understanding when and when not to use tolerances will optimise your designs: as standardised tolerances can improve quality, iterate quickly and reduce manufacturing ...

Insight Podcast: DMLS Q&A Part 1

Published: 09/21

In this episode we answer your questions on DMLS with Tasos Pantelis, an Application Engineer at Protolabs and our 3D Champion for Europe. See below for a list of questions answered in this session:

How to create greener parts

Published: 09/21

?Creating more sustainable or greener parts is a complex area that depends on a number of factors which sometime contradict each other. The first step is to understand these different elements and then you need to make a judgement call.

NEW REPORT REVEALS UK’S ELECTRIFICATION CHARGE COULD DELIVER £BILLION ‘RE-SHORING’ OPPORTUNITY

Published: 08/21

• 84% of UK companies surveyed are looking to bring parts of their supply chain closer to home over the next twelve months • 86% are planning on launching a new battery product or storage system in the same timeframe • 68% believe sustainability and the circular economy will drive the UK’s ...

Switching From Metal to Plastic

Published: 08/21

The manufacturing sector is constantly evolving and seeing new trends and practises develop. Among the most exciting of these is the relatively recent idea of designers replacing metal parts with injection-moulded plastic ones.

How to Use Multi Jet Fusion for Functional 3D-Printed Parts

Published: 07/21

Technology giant HP has developed and launched Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), an industrial-grade 3D printing technology that quickly and accurately produces functional prototypes and end-use parts for a variety of applications. Protolabs served as one of several test sites for this additive manufacturing ...

9 Cosmetic Defects and How to Avoid Them

Published: 06/21

As with any manufacturing process, injection moulding comes with its own set of design guidelines, and design engineers who understand these best practices will increase their chances of developing structurally sound and cosmetically appealing parts and products. Here are some common cosmetic ...

Tips to Reduce Injection Moulding Costs

Published: 03/21

Everyone wants to save money on manufactured parts. It sounds simple, but one of the easiest ways to reduce price-per-piece cost in injection moulding is by increasing part quantity.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing 3D Printed Parts

Published: 01/21

Designers and engineers are increasingly turning to industrial-grade 3D printing (additive manufacturing) for high-quality prototypes and end-use production parts. And 3D printing options abound. At Protolabs, we offer five additive methods: direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), stereolithography ...