Proto-labs, a Minnesota- based company that manufactures prototype parts in quick turnaround times, uses CNC machining, 3D printing, and injection molding techniques to create the custom parts. In 2014, it introduced 3D printing as one of its manufacturing processes as a part of its $38 million takeover deal. This week, the company launched an insert molding service which can accelerate production techniques further and is capable of producing 25 to 10,000-plus parts in 15 days or less.
Proto-Labs CEO Vicki Holt said that the company is providing the insert molding techniques which was much awaited by designers and developers since long. Their company was engaged in aiding small and big organizations in speeding up their manufacturing processes. With the advent of insert molding techniques, this new technology will allow prototyping and creation of new parts at an accelerated rate.
Insert molding is used for manufacturing of medical equipment, electronics, handles, housing knobs, and dials. This technique has also found use in consumer product market and automotive industries. It uses metal, plastics or a combination of both for molding processes. Designers and engineers use this technology to speed up large processes while reducing the weight, labor, and cost of the final object. Zebra technologies, an Illinois-based firm, were one of the pioneer companies to use the services of Proto Labs. Chris Mazzucco, Design and Development Engineer at Zebra said that the insert molding technology of Proto-labs enabled them to receive prototypes in just a matter of weeks.
Proto-labs retain its three prime services along with the new insert molding technique. The company offers Stereolithography (SLA), Selective laser sintering (SLS), and DMLS (Direct metal laser sintering) in its 3D printing unit. The company claims that its production capabilities are excellent and it can produce as many as 50+ 3D printed parts for a customer in a day.