Engineers! It’s Your Week to Celebrate

Know an engineer? Show them some love this week. These inventors, builders, out-of-the-box thinkers, non-eye-contact makers deserve at least a week-long celebration of their services.

National Society of Professional Engineers.

National Engineers Week is an annual recognition that takes place from Feb. 22-28 this year. Established in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, it aims to:

  • celebrate engineers’ contributions to society.
  • raise awareness about the need for engineering in the world.
  • reach out to kids, schools, teachers and parents to get them excited about science, technology, engineering and math.

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Doubling Down on Solar

Arun Gupta is the founder of Skyven Technologies, a Texas-based company that has developed a co-generating solar panel system that promises an efficient way to generate electricity and heat water.

The Skyven Cogen System brings together traditional solar photovoltaic, concentrating photovoltaic and solar water heating technologies, Gupta says, incorporating the best technologies that have emerged from the billions of dollars and decades of study that already have gone into solar energy.

Installed on a commercial rooftop, the system will produce 50 percent more electricity that will cost 20 percent less than a traditional photovoltaic system, he says. The installed cost of solar water heating with Skyven’s system is 40 percent less than with traditional technology.

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West Coast Roundup

We’re trading in the Midwest sleet and snow this week for some much-appreciated sunshine at a mix of industry conferences. If you happen to be in California or Arizona right now, look for us.

Pacific Design & Manufacturing
PD&M is co-located with Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M), both underway in Anaheim, California (Feb. 10-12). If you’re here, come find us in booth #4049 to see some of the exciting things we’re debuting at the show (besides our completely revamped booth)! We are officially launching turning capabilities within our CNC machining service as well as one- and two-day quick-turn shipment on 3D-printed parts built in stereolithography (SL) and selective laser sintering (SLS). We’re also participating in two panel discussions on accelerating speed to market by using 3D printing for rapid prototyping.

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Proto Labs Teams with SOLIDWORKS on New Initiative

If you’re not currently joining us at SOLIDWORKS WORLD (Feb. 8-11) in Phoenix, Arizona, you may not have heard about our exciting new partnership with the MySolidWorks Manufacturing Network. Created to connect SOLIDWORKS users with reliable manufacturers in the 3D printing, sheet metal, CNC machining and injection molding industry, the network provides users with quick access to manufacturing resources like Proto Labs that, in turn, have a direct link to more than 2.5 million SOLIDWORKS users. Once connected to Proto Labs, designers can upload a 3D CAD model and receive an interactive quote with manufacturability analysis within hours.

Proto Labs is handing out nickel-plated 3D-printed rings at SOLIDWORKS Works 2015, which were built using an advanced stereolithography process.

To celebrate the partnership, Proto Labs has manufactured a limited-edition 3D-printed ring that SOLIDWORKS WORLD attendees who visit either the Proto Labs or SOLIDWORKS booth have the opportunity to receive. The ring was manufactured using Proto Labs’ SLArmor process, which takes stereolithography — an additive technology that uses an ultraviolet laser to cure thousands of thin layers together to build complex objects — to the next level by plating it with a nickel coating. This provides the look, feel and strength of metal, but without the weight.

As we move into 2015, watch our blog feed for more information on new ventures that Proto Labs will be launching.

WATCH: From 3D CAD to Final Parts

We’re officially kicking off our series of short Proto Labs videos today. Throughout the year, the series will take brief glimpses into our different manufacturing processes, technology, quoting and other areas that make Proto Labs unique. Our first short follows an initial concept as it moves from sketch to 3D CAD model to final part. Have a look: