The Digital Thread

Your blog feed for manufacturing resources, in-depth features, and industry news.

3D printed plastic prototypes: What’s Next?

3D printed plastic prototypes: What’s Next?

Posted On 26 January 2023 By Alex Edwards
3D printing is often a great entry route to prototyping plastic parts mainly because it is a quick, flexible, and cost-effective process. But what happens once you are ready to move forward with your product development plan?
Protolabs Robotics Blog

The Rise of the Machines: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Trends

Posted On 23 January 2023 By Protolabs
In recent years there has been an increase in the utilisation of robots and AI, the pandemic has only propelled this. This blog touches on some of the current robotics and AI trends.
satellite being developed by engineers

Manufacturing’s role in the new space race

Posted On 16 January 2023 By Protolabs
With analysts predicting a market value of $1 trillion by 2040, the space industry is thriving. But what are the key trends that need to be on your radar?
engineer working on satellite design file

The Next Frontier: Space and Digital Manufacturing

Posted On 11 January 2023 By Protolabs
As the Space sector continues to innovate and develop, adoption of digital manufacturing technologies to support speed, repeatability, and consistency are key to the future success of the industry. In this panel discussion, three of our in-house experts answer your questions on key materials, options for meeting critical quality standards, the future technologies of the industry, and more.
direct metal laser sintered metal braket for automotive use

Aluminum Alloys: Go-to Materials for Automotive, Aerospace, and More

Posted On 09 January 2023 By Protolabs
Aluminium is a common and popular metal that’s found everywhere and used in a stunningly wide range of parts and products: automotive parts, aerospace components, boat and marine gear, consumer electronics including smart phones, industrial machinery parts, HVAC systems, the list goes on. In this blog we look at why aluminium is so commonly used, why there are so many aluminium alloys, and take a brief glimpse at the main alloys we use at Protolabs.
Man writing on clear surface

Accelerating Hardware Prototyping for Startups and Small Companies

Posted On 15 November 2022 By Protolabs
Doing the right things in the prototyping phase is a bit more complex than it looks at first glance. Hardware requires special rules to get the results you need.
manufacturing shop floor

Crisis, what crisis? Four years that shaped Manufacturing Change

Posted On 14 November 2022 By Protolabs
In this blog we look back on the last four years of manufacturing - the challenges that were overcome, and how this has prepared the sector to meet new challenges head on in the future. Results are reflective of the yearly manufacturing survey sent out to the community in partnership with IMechE.
Protolabs Blog

Start-up Business Trends - Are you a Zebra?

Posted On 01 November 2022 By Protolabs
What’s hot at the moment if you are a start-up business? What's important is what your solution is.
Protolabs manufacturing warehouse

Manufacturing Start-ups - Effective Partnerships

Posted On 01 November 2022 By Protolabs
Forming the right partnerships in the early days could make the difference between success and failure.  This blog explores where you can go for help from the early stages of your business through to manufacturing.
Manufacturing Capacity for Start-ups

From start-up to manufacturing scale-up

Posted On 01 November 2022 By Protolabs
This blog explores what you need to consider before you invest in equipment and machinery.