A New Manufacturing Process at Proto Labs: Insert Molding

We’re excited to share the latest addition to our rapid injection molding service—insert molding. You can now incorporate molded-in threaded inserts, bushings, and metal bosses into your injection molding designs.

Metal inserts reinforce mechanical properties of molded, plastic parts.

The plastic manufacturing process can add functionality, improve strength, and reduce assembly costs of parts. Common applications include electronic components, housings, knobs, handles, and dials.

Check out these resources to learn more about designing for insert molding:

Just like our other injection molding processes, you can expect to receive parts in 15 days or less. If you have a design that could benefit from insert molding, upload a 3D CAD model and we’ll send you a free quote with DFM within hours.

VIDEO: Strengthen Injection-Molded Parts with Ramps and Radii

Our animated video series continues with some tricks to improve injection molding designs. Follow Doug through his favorite skate park to see how replacing sharp edges with ramps and radii improves resin flow, strengthens features, and reduces stress.

 

Learn more about improving injection molding designs in our white paperDesigning for Moldability: Volume 1.

DESIGN TIP: 9 Ways to Reduce Injection-Molded Part Costs

Multi-cavity and family molds are used for a higher volume of parts, which can save costs. Shown here is an example of a family mold, used to produce the med-device part pictured.

Product designers and engineers love to trim costs on manufactured parts. This month’s design tip offers a number of injection molding considerations to improve part design and stretch your manufacturing dollar.

This month’s tip discusses:

  • Eliminating undercuts
  • Getting rid of unnecessary features
  • Using a core cavity approach
  • Altering cosmetic finish
  • Designing self-mating parts
  • Modifying and reusing molds
  • Leveraging DFM analysis
  • Using a multi-cavity or family mold
  • Considering part size

READ FULL DESIGN TIP

Webinar Round-Up: 3D Printing Materials, CNC Machining, and More

We wrapped up 2016 with two webinars on rapid manufacturing. First, we discussed how to design efficient parts for CNC machining. Then we shared tips on how to select the right material for your 3D-printed parts. Both are available on demand.

Stay tuned for what’s to come in 2017. We’ll be kicking off the new year by looking at how to leverage on-demand production to reduce manufacturing costs and manage demand volatility.

Proto Labs’ On-Demand Webinars 
Below you’ll find our complete library of webinars—just click the title to watch.

Designing for Rapid Overmolding

  • Design factors that determine the quality of flexible-to-rigid bonds
  • Methodology used to measure bonding strength

Designing for 3D Printing: Selective Laser Sintering

  • SLS material considerations
  • Design guidelines for functional prototypes and production parts

How to Choose the Right Thermoplastic Material

  • Factors in thermoplastic material selection
  • Overview of common thermoplastics including the effects of additives

Designing for 3D Printing: Direct Metal Laser Sintering

  •  DMLS design considerations including surface finishes, internal features, stresses, and support requirements.
  • Reducing multi-part assemblies into a single component