White Paper: Rapid Manufacturing for Medical Devices and Components

Our comprehensive white paper about prototyping and low-volume production for the medical industry highlights the things that should be taken into consideration when in the midst of developing new medical devices. Read how our three quick-turn processes: additive manufacturing, injection molding and CNC machining can help bring products to market fast.
Discover the benefits of working with a rapid manufacturer on medical prototyping and production with our free white paper.

Hush Technology Aims to Provide People with Better Sleep

Hush Technology, Inc. is the latest recipient of Proto Labs’ Cool Idea! Award. The company has designed a first-of-its-kind smart earplug. (photo courtesy of Hush Technology, Inc.)

 

California-based startup, Hush Technology, Inc., is the latest recipient of the Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award. Its product, Hush, is the world’s first smart earplug that combines sound-eliminating foam and noise masking technology to keep unwanted noise out while allowing important alerts in.

Hush helps users sleep through snoring, loud neighbors and a host of other noises that disturb nightly sleep. It connects via Bluetooth with a smartphone app so users can choose which notifications, including emergency calls and alarms, can get through to them during the night. The device includes a tiny speaker in its design that can play soft soothing sounds like white noise, ocean waves, and rain drops for over 10 hours. Continue reading

3D Printing or Machining for Plastic Parts?

An SL machine displays a final ABS-like part with supports.

There are many questions to consider when determining if your plastic parts should be 3D printed or machined. Can you test form, fit and function by using plastic-like materials or do you require engineering-grade thermoplastics? Do you need a broader selection of plastic materials during protoyping? Is your part geometry simple or complex? What are the cost considerations for both methods?

Our latest April Design Tip takes a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of both 3D printing and CNC machining.  It aims to help you determine which method is better for your particular application. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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