Bridging the STEM Gap

Our cover story for this month’s Journal focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as they relate to both education and employment. We take an in-depth look at how STEM-related jobs have remained in high demand as high schools and colleges work to train future employees in this curriculum.

Notably there is a gap between the skill sets that employers are seeking in STEM fields and the amount of qualified people who are available to fill them. School districts, universities, and companies are beginning to recognize this disconnect and have been working in recent years to raise awareness about the importance of STEM-based education.

Find out how the STEM gap is affecting the business world, the work being put forth by schools and businesses to close this gap and Proto Labs’ own efforts toward building a strong STEM presence within our workforce.

Read the full story here

Rapid Manufacturing for Metals

We’ve just published a comprehensive new white paper on metal materials for rapid manufacturing. The paper explores soft metals like aluminum, brass and magnesium as well as hard metals like steel and stainless steel. Learn about:

  • Material properties that bring strength, durability, lightweighting and more to parts.
  • Typical part applications for various metals
  • Prototyping and low-volume production processes from 3D printing, to machining and molding metal parts.

Download a free metals white paper today. And if you dabble more in plastics, our Materials Matter white paper on thermoplastic materials is also downloadable here.

Your Easy Guide to Digital Manufacturing

Due to the popularity of our first book, “Injection Molding Part Design for Dummies,” we’ve published a new 72-page book on digital manufacturing. It’s a comprehensive resource to help you navigate the increasingly tech-driven world of advanced manufacturing.

“Digital Manufacturing for Dummies” offers an in-depth look at the various rapid prototyping and low-volume production processes and provides tips to improve part design. Find out how to:

  • leverage 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding processes to bring your product to market fast.
  • evaluate suppliers with the proper criteria to meet your quick-turn manufacturing needs.
  • increase the manufacturability of your parts.

Order it for free today.

Why DMLS is a Reliable Additive Alternative for Complex Metal Parts

Additive manufacturing in DMLS

The rise of direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) has opened up a new world of 3D-printed metal prototypes and production parts. DMLS fuses metal powder into thousands of thin layers, making it particularly well-suited for highly complex metal parts that are unable to be machined and multi-part assemblies that can be reduced into a single piece.

The advanced additive process complements high-speed CNC machining, by producing fully dense end-use parts built in a range of metals like aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, cobalt chrome and Inconel. Our latest design tip explains the DMLS process, its benefits and provides some design advice on how to build better parts for DMLS

Trade Show Roundup: New York to Atlanta

Proto Labs HQ is a little quieter than usual as we attend several trade shows this week. Here’s a quick look at where we’ll be:

Meet up with us at Booth 4419 at LIGHTFAIR

We were excited to make our debut at LIGHTFAIR on Tuesday at the Javits Center in New York. The international event, which runs through tomorrow afternoon, is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference. It includes educational courses for attendees and offers them the opportunity to look at high-end designs and cutting-edge lighting technology. We’ll be at booth 4419 through the remainder of the show discussing our new optical liquid silicone rubber (LSR) material that benefits lighting applications. Continue reading