Digital manufacturing player Protolabs has launched instant design for additive manufacturability (DfAM) analysis on 3D-printed parts through its online quoting platform. Accordingly, the automated feedback enables product developers and engineers to optimize additive designs before printing of the parts. Hence, helping accelerate product development and avoid unnecessary production costs by making design adjustments early.
“Protolabs was one of the first digital manufacturing companies to launch automated manufacturability analysis on molded and machined parts—a tool that quickly became essential for our customers during their iterative design process,” said Oleg Ryaboy, Chief Technology Officer, Protolabs.
In addition, Ryaboy said the expanded design for manufacturability suite into 3D printing. Thereby, their customers can take advantage of the same speed and cost-reduction benefits.
DfAM analysis is available globally on parts uploaded online at protolabs.com for any of the company’s plastic and metal 3D printing technologies. When users receive their quotes, the analysis immediately highlights potential manufacturability advisories concerning thin walls, small gaps, and parts that exceed maximum size restrictions. The launch extends the company’s automated DfAM, also available through its digital network of manufacturing partners at Hubs.
“Our DfAM capabilities significantly improve the 3D printing quoting experience, enabling customers to easily engage with our broad technical offering,” said Rob Bodor, Protolabs’ President and CEO.
Furthermore, Protolabs has also recently broadened its additive material and finishing options. Now, product developers and engineers can choose 3D-printed silicone in multiple levels of shore-A hardness. The material is 100% pure silicone, which is biocompatible and functional at a range of temperatures.
Earlier, it launched vapor smoothing for select materials, providing enhanced finishes that eliminate rough surfaces and leave a glossy, aesthetic appearance on 3D-printed parts.
The addition of design and production capabilities within 3D printing signals a larger push by Protolabs to bring more manufacturing possibilities to its customer this year. Last week, the company announced new CNC machining options focused on volume pricing, precision tolerances, and expanded finishes through its digital network at Hubs.