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Protolabs: Metal 3D Printing

Yahoo Finance reports on a recent announcement made by 3D printing company Protolabs.  Apparently, Protolabs, a digital manufacturing company, “has launched production capabilities for its metal 3D printing service.”

Protolabs’ “new capabilities use secondary processes to improve the strength, dimensional accuracy, and cosmetic appearance of metal parts.  As part of the launch, enhanced inspection reporting is also available.”

Protolabs’ Global Product Manager for 3D Printing Greg Thompson explains: “we see it every day. The designers and engineers we work with in industries like aerospace and biotech are choosing additive manufacturing for complex components in high-requirement applications.  These new production capabilities help them optimize their designs to enhance performance, reduce costs, and consolidate supply chains, and do so much faster than ever before.”

“Protolabs uses direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology, which is ISO 9001 and AS9100D-certified, to 3D print metal production parts.  Once parts are built, several secondary options like post-process machining, tapping, reaming, and heat treatments are possible, and quality control measures like powder analysis, material traceability, and process validation are taken.”

Recently, Protolabs has joined GE’s Additive Manufacturing Network and MIT’s Additive Manufacturing Consortium “along with teaming with Wohlers Associates for an immersive 3D printing design course.  The company has also added capacity to support its growth with more than 25 GE Additive Concept Laser Mlab and M2 machines for DMLS production.”

Thompson concludes: “we’re committed to servicing our customers’ needs throughout the product life cycle across both conventional and additive manufacturing processes.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Protolabs and Yahoo Finance

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