New Injection Moulding Tolerance Guarantees from Protolabs
The world’s fastest digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume production parts is helping to make life easier for design engineers by guaranteeing specific dimensional tolerances for each type of plastic injection moulding resin.
After extensive testing at its rapidly growing Telford facility, the company is offering customers a machining tolerance of +/- 0.08mm with a resin tolerance of between 0.002mm/mm and 0.010mm/mm depending on the material.
David Barnes, EMEA Product Manager for injection moulding, commented: “For some applications, such as interference parts, dimensional tolerance is extremely important. Our aim has always been to make the design engineer’s job simpler by providing the right amount of verifiable information.
“This means we can now guarantee the tolerances for all of our 50 stocked resins, and we can advise on the accuracy of the other 1500 that are available to our customers across the world. For the stocked resins, the tolerance will be shown when customers upload their design and select their chosen material as part of our Protoquote® system.
“It means that this information becomes part of the design for manufacturability analysis that is typically available within just a couple of hours.”
The tolerance of a part is only one consideration when it comes to selecting the right material for injection moulding, with customers also needing to consider other properties such as a requirement to be UV resistant if used in an external environment.
David Barnes continued: “Customer service is vital in our company as we pride ourselves on being the fastest digital manufacturing resource available. Speed is important in today’s market and part of that is getting the design and manufacture of the part right first time.
“Our new resin tolerance guarantee is just one example of our continuous improvement process to make sure that our customers are satisfied with our service and the information that we provide to help them do their job better."
“In addition to this, recent investment in our metrology laboratory, with in-house co-ordinate measurement machinery (CMM) and 3D laser scanning technology, enables us to measure and certify parts and prototypes more quickly.”
Protolabs, which works with thousands of product designers and engineers across Europe every year, is building a bespoke 50,000 sq. ft. extension to its Halesfield facility. It will house at least 50 additional CNC machines and a further 20 additional injection moulding presses.
This £5m investment will help the company meet growing demand from customers across the automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics and heavy industry sectors for ‘speed to market’. Over the course of the next 2 years, it will also create 60 new high-skilled jobs in Shropshire.
Protolabs is the world's fastest digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. The technology-enabled company uses advanced 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding technologies to produce parts within days. The result is an unprecedented speed-to-market value for product designers and engineers worldwide.
- An automated quoting system and proprietary software translate digital 3D CAD models into instructions for high-speed manufacturing equipment. The result is parts that are shipped in 1 to 15 working days.
- The company is anchored by three flagship services: injection moulding, CNC machining and 3D printing (additive manufacturing).
- Injection moulding is used for quick-turn prototyping, bridge tooling and low-volume production of up to 10,000+ parts. More than 100 thermoplastics resins, metal and liquid silicone rubber are offered.
- Protolabs uses three and five-axis milling and turning to machine engineering-grade plastic and metal prototypes and functional end-use parts in quantities of less than 200.
- Additive manufacturing employs advanced 3D printing technologies that can create extremely accurate prototypes with complex geometries. Additive parts are built by stereolithography, selective laser sintering, Multi Jet Fusion, PolyJet and direct metal laser sintering processes, and in a range a plastics and metals.
For more information, please contact:
Matt Hatch, Communications Manager, Europe
E: [email protected]
D: +44 (0) 1952 683540