Our first webinar of 2017 shares a number of ways product developers can leverage on-demand manufacturing to reduce production costs. During the presentation we’ll discuss how on-demand manufacturing can help companies reduce total cost of ownership, increase to speed to market, and manage supply chain emergencies.
The webinar can be viewed on demand here.
Key learnings include:
- Which applications are well-suited for on-demand production
- How to reduce manufacturing costs with multi-cavity molds
- How to manage unpredictable demand with quick-turn manufacturing
Check out our round-up of 2016 webinars to view additional Proto Labs webinars on demand, which cover designing for 3D printing, material selection, and more.
The Cool Idea! Award judges are technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, instructors, and some are even past Cool Idea! Award recipients. All of our judges have a story worth sharing, so we sat down with each for a quick Q&A to help you get to know them a bit better.
Taylor Stein of Autodesk
Next up in our Q&A series is Taylor Stein. He’s a technology evangelist at Autodesk based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work at Autodesk focuses on inspiring future engineers to solve real-world problems with generative design software and additive manufacturing.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Cool Idea! Award judge in 2017?
I’m most excited for the range of submissions in 2017! Looking at past award winners, I’m equally as impressed by the smart, connected devices, as I am by the simplest of products that need some injection molding to come to life.
Tell us about your background—what’s something about your professional life that we wouldn’t necessarily know by looking at your LinkedIn profile?
I find myself coding more and more at work each and every day. From writing Python scripts that gather social media metrics to algorithmically defining pieces of geometry, coding is continuing to be an incredibly important skill. Continue reading
EYE ON INNOVATION
Take a stroll through CES 2017 and you might think you accidentally entered an auto show. As cars become venues for the latest tech, they’ve turned into centerpieces at the world’s largest consumer electronics showcase.
This year, auto manufacturers captivated attendees with demos of self-driving cars, high-performance electric vehicles, and even holographic dashboard displays. Here’s what caught our attention at the show.
The HoloActive Touch system uses reflections to produce a holographic interface.
BMW Makes Holographic Displays a Reality
Seeing new tech from BMW has become somewhat of a tradition at CES. This year was no different. Attendees were introduced to the HoloActive Touch system. It’s a free-floating, holographic display not unlike something you’d find in a “Star Wars” film. The user interface enables drivers to control the car’s functions without making physical contact with the vehicle.
A camera installed in the dashboard detects users’ movements and registers the position of their fingertips. When a fingertip makes contact with the virtual surface, a pulse is emitted and the function is activated. BMW has yet to announce a release date for the new dashboard concept, but its current gesture-controlled system will do for now. Continue reading
It takes more than designing a digital 3D model and pressing the print button to produce quality 3D-printed parts. Understanding material properties, support structures, post-build processing, and the differences between additive manufacturing processes all contribute to the quality of a 3D-printed part.
In this video, you’ll learn how we produce precise and repeatable results across our three industrial 3D printing processes and how you can best leverage additive manufacturing during product development.
Want to better understand the capabilities and benefits of industrial 3D printing? Check out our resources to learn more.
TIPS WITH TONY
Most are familiar with machining, but what makes it unique at Proto Labs? These are a few of the most common questions we receive about our rapid CNC machining service. These answers will help you optimize your design for CNC machining and determine how it can improve your product development efforts.
CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing process that mills away at a block of solid plastic or metal.
1. What is unique about Proto Labs’ CNC machining process?
In order to efficiently machine low quantities as fast as possible, we do things a bit differently compared to a traditional machine shop. When you upload a 3D CAD file to protolabs.com, our proprietary software analyses the design, creates a quote, and generates the CNC toolpaths. By automating the front-end of the manufacturing process, we can machine a part in as fast as one day.
2. How does the quoting process work?
Once you upload your 3D CAD model to our website, the software calculates the price—not a budgetary estimate—to machine your design. Within a few hours, you’ll receive an email with an interactive quote. Here, you can select different materials and quantities and receive real-time price updates. The quote even contains a 3D-view of your machined part, which will highlight any differences between the machined part and the original 3D CAD model. See a ProtoQuote preview here. Continue reading