The Upload

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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.
Automotive-EV-Infrastructure

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.
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.
clear 3d printed parts

SLA vs. SLS: Comparing Plastic 3D Printing Technologies

Posted On March 21, 2022 By Molly DeZurik
Zeroing in on which of our six 3D printing technologies you want to use is totally dependent on your project needs, part applications, material selection, and overall desired aesthetic. Two of our most popular 3D printing services, stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) offer engineering-grade options for parts.
parts finishing department for 3d printing

How to Improve 3D Printing Surface Finish Quality

Posted On February 19, 2022 By Rachel Hunt
It’s no secret that 3D printing processes don’t produce injection molding-quality surface finishes right off the printer, but there is good news. Technologies exist to help, and there are new developments all the time.
metal 3d printed part with internal radii

Designs We Love: 3D Printing

Posted On February 11, 2022 By Eric Utley
A lot of people think that you can create virtually any shape your mind can imagine using 3D printing technology. OK, so that’s sort of right, but not entirely. The hard part is coming up with aesthetically beautiful designs that also are functional for your application, structurally sound to achieve longevity, and are modeled to address the limitations of the medium.
3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing: What’s the Difference

3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing: What’s the Difference?

Posted On November 4, 2021 By Eric Utley
Part of the confusion could lie in the history and development of the technology. Over the past several decades, 3D printing has earned a solid reputation as an essential process for prototyping parts.
Inconel and Aluminum: Two Production Metals for Additive Manufacturing

Large Format 3D Printing for Aluminum and Inconel Parts

Posted On October 15, 2021 By Protolabs
When you’re printing really large parts in metal, it’s great to have a choice of materials. Aluminum and Inconel 718 both make a lot of sense, but which one is the best for your application?
Finger Flyer

PODCAST: Flying in the Palm of Your Hand

Posted On August 24, 2021 By Protolabs
Sometimes the coolest inventions are right at your fingertips. The Finger Flyer Hoverboard is a fun toy, but also a great teaching tool that explores aerodynamics. Find out how we helped manufacture this remote control-free quadcopter drone.
Duke engineering classroom

When 3D Printing is the Double-edged Sword that Leads to the ‘Manufacturability Talk’

Posted On August 16, 2021 By Paul Fearis
At our current point in time in the evolution of additive manufacturing, 3D printing serves as both a blessing and a curse with young engineers—thankfully, Protolabs gets it.