The Digital Thread

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

Turn Cool Ideas Into Reality

We are officially launching our £50,000 Cool Idea annual awards scheme across Europe to help turn brilliant ideas into reality.
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Making the Impossible Possible – Copper 3D Printing

Posted On 03 April 2019 Matt Hatch
Until recently if wanted copper parts, your best option to get the part designed and produced quickly was CNC machining...
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A Tough Part – Anodised Aluminium

Posted On 20 March 2019 Matt Hatch
If you need to protect your aluminium part from a harsh working environment or even just add a decorative finish, then anodising could well be the answer.
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We love inventors – and inventions – here at Protolabs

Posted On 18 March 2019 Matt Hatch
Every year, more than 12 million people visit their physicians for impacted earwax removal. Now, this new ear-care medical device has been developed, with help from Protolabs’ Cool Idea Award, which can clean a patient’s ear in just 35 seconds, bringing a much-needed—and fast—solution to individuals who suffer with this problem.
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How Metal 3D Printing can be a Game Changer for Medical Device Development

Posted On 04 March 2019 Annie Cashman
Our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners in the medical industry are constantly pushing the limits with metal 3D printing, challenging us and other outsourcing suppliers to advance and innovate within this process.
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5 Tips for Saving Time and Money on Your Mould Tool

Posted On 20 February 2019 Saleem Shariff
With product development and manufacturing lead times constantly shortening, what can design engineers do to reduce the time and cost involved with making a mould tool?
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Protolabs: Secondary Services

Posted On 12 February 2019 Matt Hatch
Secondary services may be required to meet the process control, functional or cosmetic (typically branding or labelling) needs for a specific project. The necessity of these additional services are determined by that specific need.
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Driving Changes in Automotive Engineering

Posted On 06 February 2019 Stephen Dyson
Automotive manufacturers are facing far greater challenges than ever before, with a global skills shortage in engineering combined with increased demand for customised cars. Thankfully, new technologies can plug the gap and reduce time to market...
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Inconel 718: A superalloy with enduring relevance

Posted On 21 January 2019 Matt Hatch
Metal 3D printing has brought Inconel, the classic nickel-based heat resistant alloy, well and truly into the 21st century
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Shortening the Development Cycle in the Aerospace Sector

Posted On 16 January 2019 Stephen Dyson
Safety is the overriding concern in aerospace and space technology - countless test cycles, inspection procedures and certificates are behind every single part of the jigsaw. Although safety requirements are non-negotiable, they come at a cost – they slow down the speed of the product development cycle.
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Augmented Reality Becomes a Game Changer in B2B Operations

Posted On 09 January 2019 Matt Hatch
Augmented reality (AR) was supposed to be a game changer in the consumer world, but has failed to match its hype. Fortunately, in the B2B world the news is far better.
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