Home Industry Protolabs is Revolutionizing Rapid Production with new Digital Network

Protolabs is Revolutionizing Rapid Production with new Digital Network

Global digital leader Protolabs is investing in a new manufacturing model that will give its growing customer base access to advanced production capabilities, lower parts costs and higher volumes.

Protolabs combines its state-of-the-art digital factories in the UK and Europe with a decentralized network of hub-driven makers. This is revolutionizing rapid, high-quality production at all volumes. Customers in aerospace, automotive, construction, medical and renewable energy benefit from new CNC machining, injection molding and 3D printing capabilities through the digital network.

This complements existing low-volume, on-demand manufacturing services at Protolabs’ facilities in Telford, UK, and Putzbrunn, Germany. Björn Klaas, vice president and general manager of Protolabs Europe, emphasizes the importance of speed in parts manufacturing to support product innovation or alleviate supply chain pressures. The digital network addresses the need for cost-efficient parts at higher volumes and longer lead times.

The new manufacturing model offers CNC machining with tolerances down to ±0.020 mm, various surface treatments and higher volumes; injection molding for challenging projects with larger, deeper and more complex parts; and 3D printing using the fused deposition modeling (FDM) process, which enables rapid prototyping of low-cost parts.

The new CNC machining and 3D printing capabilities are accessible through protolabs.com, while advanced injection molding options are available through hubs.com.

“Never before has the industry seen a digital manufacturing model quite like this. Protolabs has combined the speed and quality of a service bureau built from the ground up with a highly vetted distributed network of global manufacturers,” said Alex Cappy, Vice President and CEO of Hubs. “We’re pushing the envelope further than ever before to provide a truly seamless service to customers in the UK and Europe.”

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