The Digital Thread

Your blog feed for manufacturing resources, in-depth features, and industry news.

Vapour Smoothing

Protolabs’ new post-process ‘vapour smoothing’ – a first for European digital manufacturing – has developed additive manufacturing further. It enables parts 3D printed from the commonly used material PA-12 and the elastic TPU-01 to be 3D printed with a smooth surface finish similar to that produced by injection moulding.
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Titanium vs Aluminum: Workhorse Metals for Machining and 3D Printing

Posted On 01 December 2021 By Steve Konick
Light weight and strength help aluminum and titanium excel for 3D-printed and machined parts.

Tensile Testing for 3D Printing Materials

Posted On 01 December 2021 By Rachel Hunt
Tensile strength testing for 3D printing materials determines how a material will behave under load.

A new era for 3D printing in Europe

Posted On 22 November 2021 By Matt Hatch
We are proud to officially open our new 3D printing centre of excellence in Putzbrunn near Munich. The centre is a world class facility that contains future-oriented technologies, highly skilled employees and a host of sustainable benefits.

The Verification & Validation Valley: Why Both are Critical in New Product Development

Posted On 01 November 2021 By Chris Stevens
Speed to react to a shifting economy is creating a new set of standards for product and process development. All this leads us to a new set of challenges causing a re-evaluation of strategies for design and process verification and validation.

Automotive Industry Embraces Additive Manufacturing

Posted On 18 October 2021 By Protolabs
The automotive industry is doubling down on its push to adapt additive manufacturing technologies

CNC Flexible Lead Time Option – Save Costs With Longer Lead Times

Posted On 10 August 2021 By Protolabs
Our new CNC Flexible Lead Time option puts you in control of when you want your CNC parts shipped and how much you pay.

Part Marking using Pad Printing and Laser Engraving

Posted On 03 August 2021 By Protolabs
A common finishing option for companies is to mark parts using pad printing or laser engraving.

Threaded Inserts with Heat Staking and Ultrasonic Welding

Posted On 03 August 2021 By Protolabs
Get threaded inserts on injection-moulded parts for added durability and to connect multiple components together.

How vapour smoothing takes the surface quality of 3D printed parts to the next level

Posted On 07 July 2021 By Matt Hatch
How vapour smoothing takes the surface quality of 3D printed parts to the next level


Posted On 20 May 2021 By Protolabs
Expanding our support for the energy sector with first to market DNV ‘Qualification of Manufacturer’ certification