Technical Articles

Proto Labs, Inc. has published these technical articles:

(Development and Prototyping Services)
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An analysis of additive technologies that are redefining 3D printing as an end-use manufacturing method...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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When building a part with 3D printing, the machine's resolution can have a significant impact on the final part by determining the minimum feature size, surface finish quality, and cost. To...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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How to leverage additive manufacturing to build better products...
(Metals and Alloys)
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Two of the most popular forms of carbon steel for manufacturing-galvanized and galvannealed-start with the same process, but that's where the similarities end. The difference between these two is the...
(Aerospace Equipment and Products)
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Every industry has its own series of quality requirements and inspections associated with the types of outputs that its end products are meant to perform. The aerospace industry finds itself in an...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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When you think of injection molding, the image of a straight-pull mold is probably what first comes to mind. It's the classic A-side and B-side mold that closes together to form the final part. It's...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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We are in the midst of a transformation where a transition from physical to digital has challenged the traditional ways to manufacture objects. Digital manufacturing has been the backbone of 3D...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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You're probably reading this on a computer. Thank a machinist. Without precision machine tools and the people who operate them, your computer, desk, office chair, the cars in the parking lot, and the...
(Machine Shop Services)
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Jigs and fixtures often serve as key production floor manufacturing tools that can help streamline part assembly, create efficient workflow processes, improve overall manufacturing quality, help...
(Metals and Alloys)
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There's a lot more to creating custom sheet metal parts than just cutting and bending a slab of metal. For each part you design, you have to consider the metal's material qualities and the environment...
(Data Storage and Management Software)
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How software and technology are digitizing the manufacturing industry, and the benefits to business leaders...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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When designing an injection-molded plastic part, it is important to consider what that part is going to do-that is, its function. Indeed, function affects form for any type of part, but with plastic...
(Molding Services)
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LSR is a thermoset material with a unique set of design characteristics that differ from thermoplastic injection molding...
(Molding Equipment and Supplies)
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A guide to two-material molding and bonding options with plastics, elastomers, and metal inserts...
(Molding Services)
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See how the use of side-actions, sliding shutoffs, and pickouts can be used to mold undercuts and through-holes...
(Molding Services)
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A quick reference guide to wall thicknesses, surface finishes, materials, and other thermoplastic injection molding insights...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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An exploration of materials, manufacturing processes, design considerations, and finishing options for sheet metal prototypes and low-volume production parts...
(Data Storage and Management Software)
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How to convert the economics of digital manufacturing into efficiencies, revenue, and profit to enable Product 4.0...
(Medical)
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As often happens in the medical industry, innovative ideas, hatched in university research settings, spawn innovative companies, which create innovative products. A case in point: HemoSonics. The...
(Molding Services)
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When designing an injection-molded plastic part, you may find you want to enhance it a bit. Maybe add greater functionality to the part. Or improve its appearance. Or make it a stronger, more durable...
(Molding Services)
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See how part geometry, material selection, and mold design can minimize or eliminate cosmetic flaws that can arise during molding...
(Molding Services)
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Fast Wax believes there is no such thing as "too fast," only too slow. And while the Minnesota-based company guarantees that its wax will help skiers and snowboarders get down the slopes faster, Casey...
(Molding Services)
From this Article:
When designing parts for injection molding, key elements of the mold that you will need to work out are the gates, which control the flow of the melted resin (plastic) into the mold cavity. Gates are...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
From this Article:
I love to entertain. I love having as many people in my house as possible, usually family, friends, or a mix of both, and the louder the better. I'm not much of a "neat freak," so it doesn't matter to...
(Aerospace Equipment and Products)
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Mankind first set foot on the moon in 1969, laying our first footprints on our orbiting partner, roughly 230,000 miles away. Nearly five decades have now passed since we last visited. Today, NASA is...
(Molding Services)
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Medtech startup Invoy Technologies is on a mission to disrupt the weight-loss industry. Its novel solution combines patented technology-a handheld breath analyzer that instantly measures fat...
(Machine Shop Services)
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The Stanford Student Space Initiative (SSI) is the largest student-run organization at the university. Since its inception, it has brought together students from a variety of disciplines to pursue...
(Molding Services)
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The precision and repeatability of industrial-grade 3D printing has established additive manufacturing as an effective and accurate process for functional prototyping. At the same time, plastic...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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A team of researchers from the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London have developed a new family of 3D-printed materials that they named meta-crystals. The materials have a non-uniform,...
(Machine Shop Services)
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Supply chain managers are continuing to discover the benefits of onshoring options, taking advantage of contract manufacturers that use digital technologies and smart, on-demand manufacturing on our...
(Manufacturing Equipment and Components)
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As a buyer or purchasing manager, you already know that the speed of change in our global economy and world is moving at unprecedented speeds. The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the shortening of...
(Robotics)
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It all started seven years ago when then Parker Hannifin CEO, Don Washkewicz, challenged his team with the question, "What's the future of our company?" This triggered a flurry of activity to chart...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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When designing parts for injection molding, you may need to consider finishing options, which can help improve a part's mechanical properties, enhance surface finishes, facilitate the final assembly...
(Medical)
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Developing parts for the medical device industry is a high-stakes process, and material choice is an important decision to make at the outset of the project. Five strong contenders include PEEK, PEI...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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How rapid manufacturing can increase speed to market for devices and components...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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Exploring material selection and manufacturing methods for metal...
(Automotive Equipment and Products)
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Manufacturing process and material considerations for lightweighting...
(Business Applications)
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How to strategically manage your supply chain by implementing manufacturing safeguards...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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Compare various 3D printing, CNC machining, and injection molding technologies to find a process best suited for your project...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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Explore the material properties available with direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, and stereolithography...
(Metals and Alloys)
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At one time, lasers were nothing more than science fiction dreams. In the last 60 years, we've transitioned from imaginary cosmic ray guns to harnessing the power of light strategically. Today, lasers...
(Medical)
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Human-Factors Engineering (HFE) is gaining increasing attention, especially in the context of medical device product development. As technologies evolve, therapies advance, and devices become more...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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When managing your company's supply chain, it's a jungle out there. Survival in the jungle depends on meeting your customers' ever-shifting demands. Indeed, over the life span of many products, demand...
(Machine Shop Services)
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One of machine learning's key strengths is sorting through noisy data to find specific targets, like the shape of a dead varroa mite on a beekeepers' board. Photo Courtesy: techcrunch.com After...
(Development and Prototyping Services)
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Researchers at Caltech recently announced they have designed a way to levitate objects using only light. While the concept is still theoretical for now and is yet to be tested on actual physical...
(Molding Services)
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Learn about material properties to quantitatively analyze parts before selecting a thermoplastic resin...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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Applications for threaded inserts in injection-molded parts abound. They are common features that show up in a range of industries and in a variety of parts-housings, casings, electronic enclosures,...
(Engineering Services)
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At Protolabs, we work with a variety of industries and, it seems no matter the industry, innovation continues to drive product development and fuel flourishing companies. Here's a look at five recent...
(Molding Services)
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No, we're talking about product designers working for companies large and small who often need their manufacturing suppliers to produce plastic injection-molded parts that are Pantone color-matched to...
(Molding Services)
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When designing injection-molded parts, you may need to apply finishing options after your parts are manufactured to improve mechanical properties, enhance surface finish, facilitate the assembly...
(Molding Services)
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Plastics have evolved over the last 50-plus years-from housings and panels that reduced weight, a reduction in sharp edges, and added product style options, to today's engineering grades like PEI and...
(Part Fabrication Services)
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The term 3D printing encompasses several manufacturing technologies that build parts layer-by-layer. Each vary in the way they form plastic and metal parts and can differ in material selection,...
(Video Equipment)
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A recent estimate by Goldman Sachs reports that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are expected to grow into an $80 billion to $90 billion market by 2025. But will the promise of AR and...