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Digital Manufacturer Protolabs To Provide 3D Printing Services to Rs Components Customers in Unique Partnership Deal


Protolabs, the world-leading digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume parts, has joined forces with RS Components, a global omni-channel product and service solutions provider for industrial customers and suppliers.

The partnership will seal a comprehensive ‘Design and Manufacturing’ solution for RS’s industrial customers and suppliers, with a focus on Protolabs’ industrial 3D printing capabilities, but will also include their CNC machining and injection moulding services.

The move is in line with both organisations’ commitment to service and innovation and it will enable RS customers – engineers, designers and maintenance professionals – to execute iterative design through RS’s DesignSpark CAD software before moving to swiftly manufacture parts with Protolabs in accordance with prototyping or functional requirements.

Bjoern Klaas, Vice President and Managing Director at Protolabs, Europe, commented: “As two world-leading service providers for the engineering and industrial sectors, the partnership between Protolabs and RS Components is an exciting one. With Protolabs’ speed and excellence in digital manufacturing, rapidly creating even the most complex parts in a wide range of plastics and metals, RS Components customers can enjoy a complete start-to-finish service; a broad offering that supports customers in all fields across the industrial sphere, giving them even more choice.

“Our digital manufacturing is a valuable addition for DesignSpark software users, as the designs they create within the software can then be uploaded to our e-commerce platform for quoting, analysis (design for manufacturability) and part production – a seamless and user-friendly process.”

Mike Bray, Group Lead, Innovation, R&D and DesignSpark at Electrocomponents, added: “In a rapidly evolving engineering space, having access to services that can facilitate the fast provision of prototypes or parts that are suited to a wide variety of applications can provide a real competitive edge. At RS, our mission is to help our customers maximise the opportunities around Industry 4.0, and both educate them on the latest technology innovations and make them accessible. Our partnership with Protolabs supports that mission perfectly.”

RS customers, after using the DesignSpark CAD software and the Protolabs e-commerce platform, would then rely on the automated systems employed by Protolabs to enable the production of parts in as little as one day, also ensuring the high precision needed for complex designs and functional prototypes. The 3D printing technologies used by Protolabs include Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Stereolithography (SLA), Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF), PolyJet (3D printed silicone) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).

Klaas concluded: “Initially the service will be available to UK customers, but as we develop the partnership with RS Components we look forward to delivering our digital manufacturing provision to the wider European market.”

To find out more about the RS Components, DesignSpark, Protolabs ‘Design and Manufacturing’ solution, please visit here.