Whitepapers

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.

Why 3D Print?

Published: 01/22

Over the handful of years that it’s been in use, 3D printing technology has come from a fringe technique to a process used by countless businesses across the world. If you aren’t familiar with the technology yet, it might be difficult to understand this rapid rise in both uptake and success.

Insight Podcast: Family Tooling and Multi-Cavity Moulds

Published: 12/21

In this episode, we talk you through some important injection moulding extras that may support your projects: family tooling and multi-cavity moulds.

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 ...

Oilfield Services Sector Already Committing To ‘Green’ Energy, According To New Protolabs Report

Published: 09/21

The oilfield services sector is radically restructuring to survive in a world moving towards net-zero carbon emissions, according to a new industry report.

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.

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 ...

A Closer Look at Material Properties

Published: 05/21

When you design a part, much of its functionality will depend on obvious factors like its shape, size, wall thicknesses, locations of connection points, and so on. Less obvious but equally important will be the characteristics of the material from which it is moulded, machined or 3D printed (cut, ...

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.

Why Material Science is Key to Part Interaction

Published: 02/21

Even a perfectly designed injection-moulded part can fail if manufactured from the wrong material, and with literally hundreds of thermoplastics and elastomers to choose from, it’s often difficult to know which ones will meet the application’s requirements. This is why a host of factors such as ...

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 ...

CPD accredited training programme: The Fundamentals Of Digital Manufacturing

Published: 12/20

Continuing Professional Development is important to you, which is why it’s important to us! To support your development, we have created a CPD accredited training programme covering the Fundamentals of Digital Manufacturing. Start your journey now!

How to reduce CNC machining costs

Published: 11/20

CNC machining keeps improving and advancing every year, and, therefore, gets a bit more complex each year. As a result, it can be challenging to keep pace with the dos and don'ts of part design. But lowering the cost of machined parts while improving functionality can still be achieved by a few ...

Finite Element Modeling/Analysis

Published: 11/20

Finite element modeling is a tool engineers use in designing products across every industry. An engineer will create a 3-D rendering of an assembly with the finite element software and define each material of interest. In order to run simulations to predict performance, the 3-D model defines the ...

Bonding to Different Metal Substrates

Published: 11/20

Designing with metal For manufacturers, metals are cost-effective, perform well across a wide range of temperatures, show fairly good weather resistance and have excellent strength. End consumers trust metals: they’re solid and sturdy, they’re cool to the touch and cool to the eye. Metals can ...

Bonding multi-material (dissimilar) assemblies with tapes and adhesive

Published: 11/20

Recent trends and advancements in the manufacturing and cost reduction of composite materials has seen an increase in their usage in transportation, industrial and many other markets, as well as their continued use in the aerospace field. Driven by increased government regulations on vehicle ...

Topology optimization: how does it benefit designers?

Published: 10/20

In an increasingly global market, competitive pressures create demands on manufacturing organizations for increased innovation, automation, and throughput across every department, but especially product development.

Design through analysis: simulation-driven product development pays business dividends in transition to smart manufacturing

Published: 10/20

Manufacturing companies in today’s competitive global business climate face a seemingly insurmountable dichotomy: the need to develop, produce, and launch more innovative products of increasing complexity in less time and at lower cost while maintaining consistently high levels of quality.

Design through analysis: improving product design and automating manufacturability with topology optimization

Published: 10/20

Opening paragraph (a summary of the main body of the content in no more than two sentences) The availability of new manufacturing technologies—combined with demands for greater product development automation, innovation, and throughput—creates both challenges and opportunities for today’s product ...

Thermoplastic vs. Thermoset

Published: 10/20

Two broad categories of plastic materials exist: thermoplastics and thermosets, which are differentiated based on their behaviours in the presence of heat. This design tip offers a few considerations to keep in mind when using these materials.