The International Manufacturing Technology Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place is the largest manufacturing show in the Americas and will feature more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and over 114,000 registrants. Visit us at booth N-72 throughout the week. Proto Labs staffers are also presenting at the conference:
Jonathan Bissmeyer, Senior Quality Engineer: “Designing for the DMLS Process,” 1:15 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12, Room W192-B.
Greg Thompson, Global Product Manager: “Designing for Direct Metal Laser Sintering and Selective Laser Sintering,” 3:30 p.m., at the Additive Manufacturing Conference (co-located with IMTS).
At a recent trade show in New York, Proto Labs staffers found time for a photo. From left, Eric Utley, Jenna Nyman, Abby Christensen, Kory Dirnberger, and Charlie Johnson.
Medical Design & Manufacturing at Minneapolis’ Convention Center is the region’s largest medical technology event, with 5,000 industry professionals expected to attend. See us at booth 525.
As part of the show’s programming, Rich Baker, Proto Labs’ Chief Technology Officer, will present, “More Than Prototyping: Digital Manufacturing’s Role in Industry 4.0,” at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. Baker also will participate in a panel discussion on “3D Printing: The Brave New World of Manufacturing” at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 22.
The crew at Protoworks (our R&D program) has been busy. Every day they’re pushing the boundaries to advance new rapid manufacturing processes and materials and expand your design possibilities.
We just rolled out a few new capabilities that we’re excited to share.
2 is better than 1: Overmolding
Overmolding expands on our injection molding offering. At Proto Labs, it’s a multi-step process where we mold a substrate part and place it into a second mold, which then molds another material onto the substrate. It’s called pick-n-place molding.
A look inside our liquid silicone rubber manufacturing facility
Overmolding can aid in dampening vibration, improving grip as well as two-color aesthetics. We are still in the beta testing phase of our overmolding process, but it’s open to everyone.
You asked. We listened. Our CNC machines can now mill and turn parts from titanium. With an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance, titanium is most suitable for applications in aerospace, medical and other industries where high performance is critical.
Rapid injection molding is regularly used for prototyping and low-volume production during product development, and bridge tooling before large-scale production begins, but it’s also often used after a product is launched. Here are three ways to use rapid manufacturing once a product enters the market:
1. Supply Chain Emergencies
Minimize down time and reduce the risk of stock-outs when your production tool is down or being repaired.
Mitigate the risk of domestic and global shipping delays by having a reliable, on-demand supplier of low-volume parts.
Be prepared to meet an unplanned spike in demand without going on back-order.
2. On-demand Production
Order exact part quantities when you need them to avoid excess inventory.
Parts are shipped within 15 days or less to eliminate downtime.
3. End-of-Life Planning
Leverage low-volume aluminum tooling to place on-demand orders during product life cycle decline.
Mitigate the risk of inventory write-offs by ordering parts in lower quantities.
Developing medical devices or health care components? Here’s five good material options to consider.
PEEK, PEI (Ultem) and PPSU (Radel). Attributes: High temperature resistance, creep resistance and works well for applications that require sterilization.
Polycarbonates (Makrolon and LEXAN HP1). Attributes: Good clarity with clear and translucent applications, good impact resistant, and durability.
Medical-grade liquid silicone rubber (QP1-250). Attributes: Thermal, electrical and chemical resistance, biocompatibility, and is suitable for skin contact.
Titanium (Ti 6-4). Attributes: Lightweight, temperature and corrosion resistant 3D printed metal used with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process to produce fully functional medical components.
WaterShed XC 11122.
WaterShed XC 11122. Attributes: ABS-like material used to 3D print clear microfluidic parts with sterolithography (SL) process. Resistance to water and humidity, and good for lens and flow-visualization models.