The drone market in the U.S. is expected to soar to an $82-billion industry in the next decade, the New York Times recently reported. With that robust market in mind, Lockheed Martin, the aerospace, defense, and technology giant, developed a small, fold-up, lightweight drone, the Indago Quadcopter UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), turning to Proto Labs for quick-turn prototyping and low-volume production.
Proto Labs’ automated design for manufacturability (DFM) and quoting system was especially helpful in taking the Indago from 3D-printed prototypes to injection-molded parts, and getting finished parts delivered in days and weeks. The video tells the story:
Last week we hosted a quick webinar that explored how designers can use ProtoQuote to improve the manufacturability of their design. It’s available on-demand here.
- How to get free design for manufacturability feedback for your part
- Improving manufacturability by adding draft, adjusting wall thickness and incorporating radii
- How to navigate ProtoQuote for each of our processes: 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding
Top Questions Asked
Will Proto Labs help simplify my CAD file?
Yes, along with our automated DFM feedback, we have a full staff of engineers that will work with you on simplifying your design. Once you upload a 3D CAD file, they will look at it and explore ways of improving overall manufacturability and provide guidance based on your part’s requirements and intended application.
Are there any general design tips to avoid parts having side-pulls or side-actions?
Our free design cube shows the different side-actions that we use to produce parts. And, if you have snap features on your part that might require side-actions, you can cut away that geometry and use a pass-through core to alleviate the need for a side-pull or cam.
We also have resources that discuss implementing side-actions, as well as eliminating the need for them:
What are the material options for opaque materials for lighting applications?
We offer polycarbonate materials that provide transparent options for lighting and other applications requiring transparent materials. We provide multiple PC colors: amber, green, blue, transparent and even infrared.
Look for additional technical webinars throughout the year on various 3D printing, CNC machining or injection molding topics. The next webinar will be part one in a series of 3D printing webinars and we’ll discuss designing for stereolithography.
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.