New Low-Alloy Steel Options Added to Metal Injection Molding Process

We’ve added three new low-alloy steel materials to our metal injection molding process. The materials include two nickel steel materials (Catamold FN02 and FN0205) and a chrome-moly material (Catamold 42CrMo4) that is the MIM equivalent of 4140 steel.
The new low-alloy steel materials creates strong wear-resistant metal parts when heat-treated and has the ability to be coated in post-processing for further protection.
Read the full press release here.

Minnesota Mag Names Proto Labs a Best Company

We’re proud to announce that we’re a recipient of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For Award from Minnesota Business magazine.

The award honors top-notch companies from many different industries across Minnesota, the home state of Proto Labs HQ. Companies submitted nominations and an independent research firm conducted an anonymous questionnaire filled out by employees. Employees’ answers determined which companies excelled in work environment, employee benefits and overall employee happiness, just to name a few highlights. Continue reading

ProtoView Gets Updated

Spring is a time of renewal, so keeping in that spirit, we’ve made some key improvements to our ProtoView software — the technology behind the design feedback in your interactive quotes.

ProtoView lets you review your automated design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis as a fully manipulatable 3D model that can be rotated in 360 degrees to explore any required or advised changes that may be needed to your part. Continue reading

Making the Steering Wheel Work

TRW Automotive’s clock spring design.

Most days drivers don’t give much thought to what happens when you press a steering wheel button. But it has been at the forefront of Rick Bowes’ mind for quite a while. Bowes is a designer in the body control systems group at Michigan-based TRW Automotive. The global company focuses on active and passive safety systems and has worked with Proto Labs for the past five years.   Continue reading

Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity on Display at SXSW Interactive

SXSW Interactive wraps up in Austin, Texas today and Proto Labs was proud to make our debut at the notoriously cool event — both as an exhibitor and attendee. Fittingly, we brought our Cool Idea! Award gallery to SX Create, a come one, come all event within the Interactive Festival that showcased innovative technologies and products that are shaping our future. Visitors to our space could check out a selection of previous Cool Idea! Award recipients to see how the inventive ideas went from concepts to actual products with a manufacturing hand from Proto Labs.

Our booth at SX Create showcased past Cool Idea! Award winners.

One of the many things SXSW is known for is its comprehensive music and film schedule where some tough decisions need to be made — the interactive counterpart is no different. By the time I finished plotting out my schedule, two hours had passed. Here are some session highlights: Continue reading