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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protolabs manufacturer of the year award

Protolabs Lands Top Award from Manufacturing Leadership Council

Posted On June 30, 2022 By Protolabs
Protolabs also won a Leadership Award in the “Collaborative Ecosystem” category, specifically honoring our new digital quoting platform and revamped digital thread.
Recommended wall thickness in injection molding design

Thin Wall Injection Molding Tips and Considerations

Posted On June 8, 2022 By Protolabs
Thin walls in injection-molded parts can present a variety of issues. Dive into these considerations to ensure optimal part molding and performance.
Chemical compound for ABS

Homopolymers, Copolymers, and the Chemistry of Plastic Parts

Posted On May 27, 2022 By Protolabs
Hey! Who’s a fan of organic chemistry? [crickets] OK, you may not have liked studying it, but without those chains of carbon-based molecules life would be rough. So here at Protolabs we’re all about paying our respects to those special groups of bonded atoms called polymers.
3 square FDM Prints

A Brief Look at Desktop and Industrial FDM 3D Printing

Posted On May 26, 2022 By Protolabs
There’s one of only a few 3D printing processes that is possible at both a desktop- and industrial-level. It’s fused deposition modeling (FDM), although you’ll sometimes see it referred to as fused filament fabrication (FFF). It’s a great printing process to create prototype parts to test fit and form. Because it prints using thermoplastic material, it also delivers parts that are functional when in a high-heat environment, or when exposed to chemicals or mechanical stress.

Digital Manufacturing Helps Power Automotive Industry’s EV Revolution

Posted On May 23, 2022 By Rob Young
A game-changing innovation race with high market-share stakes is taking place in the automotive sector these days as the industry makes a quantum shift from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to electric vehicles.
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.
Threading insert

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.