With thousands of thermoplastics on the market, selecting the right material for a run of injection-molded parts can be intimidating. To help make the process more manageable, we’re teaming up with the plastics industry leader, PolyOne, to host a webinar with tips on choosing the right thermoplastic material for your application.
TITLE: Thermoplastics: How to choose the right material for your application
PRESENTER: Jeremy Bland, Technical Dev. Engineer, PolyOne
DATE: Thursday, September 22 at 1 p.m. CDT
REGISTER: Click here to sign up
The presentation will include the following:
- Factors in thermoplastic material selection
- Overview of common thermoplastics including the effects of additives
- An open Q&A session
Busy that day and can’t make it? Not a problem. You can still register and we’ll send a link to a recording that can be watched on-demand. As usual, feel free to forward to a colleague know if you think he or she will be interested in attending.
In our most recent webinar, we discussed how to optimize part design for direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The presentation is a great introduction into metal 3D printing as we discussed common applications and many important design considerations. The webinar recording is available on-demand here.
We have more webinars in the works. On September 22, we’ll be sharing the digital stage with PolyOne as we host an in-depth discussion on selecting the right thermoplastic material for injection-molded parts. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Proto Labs’ On-Demand Webinars
Interested in learning more about rapid manufacturing? Below you’ll find a complete archive of our past webinars (click the title to view).
How Rapid Prototyping Accelerates Medical Device Development
- Strategies to accelerate medical device development cycle
- Prototyping effectively and reduce design risk with rapid manufacturing
Designing for 3D Printing: Stereolithography
- Properties of commonly used stereolithography materials
- The unique benefits of stereolithography and general design tips for overhangs, support structures, finishes, etc.
Improving Manufacturability with ProtoQuote
- How to get free design for manufacturability feedback for your part
- Improving manufacturability by adding draft, adjusting wall thickness and incorporating radii
Choosing the Right Rapid Manufacturing Method for Plastic Parts
- 3D printing, machining and molding processes and specifications
- Material selection and properties for each process
Overmolding is the latest addition to our injection molding service. Now, you have a fast way to create injection-molded parts with two different materials. We use a pick ‘n place method.
That means we follow a two-step process. First we mold the substrate part. Then we place the substrate part into the mold and a second material is injected to form the final, two-material part.
Here are a few benefits of rapid overmolding.
Vibration dampening: Dampen vibration by adding liquid silicone rubber to parts made of hard plastic, like ABS, or if it’s a handhold device (think toothbrush), it can even be used to improve grip.
Multicolor aesthetics: Add a stylistic flair to your product with overmolding. Using two materials, means two colors for high-quality looking products and can enhance your product’s design.
Fast, flexible volumes: Often, manufacturers will not process low-volume overmolding orders, but now you have the ability to manufacture 25 to 10,000+ overmolded parts within just a few weeks.
Simplify multi-part assemblies: Reduce cost and save time spent assembling parts by combining two materials in one molded part.
For information on rapid overmolding like designing mechanical interlocks or understanding chemical bonding compatibility, visit our service page to see design guidelines and get free DFM feedback.
Last week we kicked off our webinar series on designing for 3D printing. The first session focused on stereolithography (SL) and it’s available on-demand here.
- Properties of commonly used stereolithography materials
- The unique benefits of stereolithography such as feature resolution and recommended applications
- General design tips for overhangs, support structures, finishes and more
Can you describe the resolution of SL parts in terms of microns?
There are 25 microns per 0.001 in. Normal resolution builds in 100 micron layers, high-resolution builds in 50 micron layers and micro-resolution builds in 25 micron layers.
The minimum X/Y resolution would be 250 microns in normal resolution, 100 microns in high-resolution and 50 microns in micro-resolution.
What’s the cost difference between normal- and high-resolution SL parts?
There’s no set number since it depends on the part’s geometry. But for parts under 1 in., customers will see a relatively low cost difference between normal- and high-resolutions.
Height is a primary driver of cost so once you start approaching 2 to 3 in. build heights it can start to differentiate more dramatically. But, with our instant quoting process it’s easy to compare these costs simply by clicking back and forth and comparing resolutions.
What’s the rule of thumb for wall thickness in hollow structures?
We try to stay above 0.03 in. and a general rule is 0.01 in. wall thickness per inch of the part. For example, a part that’s 8 in., you’ll want to shoot for 0.08 in. wall thickness for a well-supported hollow part.
More 3D printing webinars on the way…
The next webinar on our calendar will be on accelerating medical device development with rapid prototyping, which you can sign up for here. And, in the coming months we’ll have more 3D printing webinars that will focus on designing for selective laser sintering as well as direct metal laser sintering.
The automotive industry, including the disruptive tech giants, are investing tremendous amounts of funding and human capital into the development of autonomous vehicles and related technologies. Evidence of this is General Motors’ $500 million investment in Lyft and $1 billion into the upcoming acquisition of Cruise Automation Inc. It’s difficult to read about the automotive industry without encountering discussions around autonomous driving. The auto industry is hiring software developers at a pace once that was once limited to mechanical and industrial engineers.
A rendering of possible autonomous driving interaction. Source: General Motors
Market Adoption … Eventually
So, why is the auto industry going down this path when a majority of the American consumers flat out do not want a driverless car or trust the concept yet? A recent J.D. Power survey found that just over half of Gen Z and Gen Y are interested — that’s surprisingly low, since these groups are more comfortable with public transportation and delay owning a car more than previous generations. And only about 41% of Gen Xers support self-driving technology, a rate that shrinks further for the baby boomers at 23%. It’s important to note here that the peak age for purchasing a new car is 43 years old.
The answer lies in the fact that the “R” in automotive R&D historically occurs 10 to 20 years before actually moving to production lines. This extended timeline frequently means the industry is working on things the consumer has not yet even taken into account. But as discussed in an earlier post, recent tech giant disruptions are shortening this product development cycle.