The Upload

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

Hacksmith Brings Marvel’s Hulkbuster to Life with a Helping Hand from Protolabs

We sat down with co-founder and COO, Ian Hillier, to chat about Hacksmith’s humble beginnings, its latest Hulkbuster project (which we were psyched to assist with for 3D-printed components), and what’s next for the creative crew.
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Earth Day Volunteers

Protolabs Supports Communities Through Foundation, Employee Giving

Posted On May 20, 2022 By Protolabs
At Protolabs, we love giving back to our communities and have several corporate and employee programs that help further this mission. As a technology-enabled manufacturer, supporting STEM related programs and initiatives is important to us, and we’re proud to be able to do this through the Protolabs Foundation. In addition to the Foundation, we have a number of employee giving groups that coordinate monetary and donation drives throughout the year to give back to our local communities and the causes that matter most to our employees.

Tips for Threading and Adding Inserts in 3D Printing

Posted On May 20, 2022 By Rachel Hunt
There’s one fundamental thing you need to know about threading and assembling inserts into 3D-printed parts: What you can and can’t manufacture depends on the material properties of both the part and the insert. A second thing to keep in mind: It pays to design for standard taps and inserts whenever possible.
Fillets on machined parts

Fillets and Chamfers: Getting Edgy with Machining

Posted On May 16, 2022 By Protolabs
A newly machined metal part can end up with edges that are sharper than desired for the end user unless the design smooths or breaks those sharp edges. To create an edge break, the design should incorporate sloped or beveled edges and corners known as chamfers—or rounded ones called fillets.
Ribs on plastic part design illustration

How to Avoid ‘Over-Engineering’ Your Next Part Design

Posted On April 25, 2022 By Protolabs
When you hear the term “over-engineering,” you probably think about all of those overly complicated products we’ve all encountered that seem too complex relative to their intended use. The confusing shower faucet controls. The washer or dryer with a dizzying array of counter-intuitive buttons and settings. Your new car’s baffling audio setup. Well, you get the idea.
The Current State of Supply Chains

The Current State of Supply Chains

Posted On April 18, 2022 By Bernie Henderson
A quick look at the current state of global supply chains with Protolabs' Director of Strategic Sourcing, Bernie Henderson.
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) for Injection Molding

Posted On April 12, 2022 By Protolabs
Thermoplastic elastomers come in a variety of formulations, and each is unique in its own way. That makes picking the right one an important task among many when you are designing your parts.
gd&t example

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing in Injection-molded Parts

Posted On April 11, 2022 By Protolabs
GD&T is an industry standard symbolic language used to communicate allowable geometric represents the evolution of the CTQ quality inspection process.
Finishing Options for Sheet Metal Parts

Benefits and Considerations for Sheet Metal Part Finishing

Posted On April 7, 2022 By Amanda Tierney
Finishing options for sheet metal vary depending on your needs. For instance, are you looking for an aesthetically pleasing part, a part that needs to withstand environmental challenges and wear, or are you testing overall functionality?
Award-winning Freedom of Choice with National Association of Manufacturers

Award-winning Freedom of Choice with National Association of Manufacturers

Posted On April 4, 2022 By Protolabs
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently awarded us with a 2022 Leadership Award in the Collaborative Ecosystems category. This is the eighth straight year in which we’ve won a Leadership Award, including last year’s award for our sustainability efforts.
battery manufacturing facility

Battery Technology Powers EVs, But Faces Cost, Materials, Innovation Challenges

Posted On March 28, 2022 By Gurvinder Singh
The innovation race is on to create next-generation battery technology as the industry seeks to develop batteries that are cheaper, faster to charge, and less vulnerable to raw material shortages.