Join us for a webinar on improving part manufacturability. Our technical specialist Tony Holtz will demonstrate how to navigate ProtoQuote to optimize your design for 3D printing, CNC machining or injection molding.
In case you’re unfamiliar with ProtoQuote, it’s our fully automated quoting and design analysis software. Simply put – it makes your life a whole lot easier. It allows you to know exactly how much a part will cost and provides an analysis of your design within hours.
Sign up and learn how to tap into the full potential of ProtoQuote and its design for manufacturability analysis:
TITLE: Improving Manufacturability with ProtoQuote
DATE: Thursday, May 26 at 1 p.m. CDT
LINK: Click here to register!
At the end of the presentation, there will be time for a Q&A session. Have a colleague who might be interested? We’d love to have them join as well. And if you can’t make it at the specified time, you can still register and we’ll send you a recording afterward.
In this week’s tip, we look at best practices for designing text on parts, and answer questions like raised or recessed, which fonts to use and alternative options.
Raised or Recessed?
Features can either be raised up or recessed in to part surfaces, but which way is best? Because molds are machined, we prefer to mill the actual text or logo instead of milling around those features. This allows for faster machining, easier polishing and eliminates very small mold features that may break off.
Please extrude the text/logo features by a minimum of 0.010 in. and a maximum of 0.020 in. This allows your text to be legible and not stick in the features while molding — any deeper and you risk having the text peel off and remain in the mold. So, design raised features on your CAD model to improve moldability during manufacturing and legibility on final parts.
Raised text on part is recommended.
If you must have recessed features on your part, many of the same guidelines still exist, but there is one additional concern that you will need to address in regards to the spacing between characters. Having text recessed on your part now means that the features in the mold are raised and we need to machine between each character. Features with less than 0.125 in. of clearance require spacing between each character at a minimum of 0.020 in. to properly remove all material to ensure the legibility of text.
We’ve teamed up with Autodesk to provide easy access to online quoting directly within Autodesk’s Fusion 360 CAD program.
By clicking the Proto Labs logo within Fusion 360, users will be able to get an interactive quote within a few hours that contains free design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis for injection molding or CNC machining. The analysis highlights potential manufacturability issues allowing design modifications to be made early before any actual production begins.
In addition to molding and machining, plans are underway to implement similar quoting functionality for parts that will be manufactured through our additive manufacturing (3D printing) service.
This software integration will go live with a late-July release of the Fusion 360 application update. Read our full press release here.
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
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