Protolabs has launched instant design for additive manufacturability (DfAM) analysis on 3D printed parts through its online quoting platform.
The automated feedback enables product developers and engineers to optimise additive designs before parts are printed, which the company says helps 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 moulded and machined parts, a tool that quickly became essential for our customers during their iterative design process,” said Oleg Ryaboy, Chief Technology Officer, Protolabs. “We’re excited to expand our design for manufacturability suite into 3D printing so customers can take advantage of the same speed and cost-reduction benefits.”
DfAM analysis is available for parts uploaded online for any of the company’s plastic and metal 3D printing technologies. The quotes sent to users include analysis that 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. I am delighted by the initial customer response,” said Rob Bodor, Protolabs President and CEO.
Protolabs also now offers 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. The company also launched vapour smoothing for select materials earlier this year.
Protolabs says that the addition of design and production capabilities within 3D printing is part of a larger push by the company to bring more manufacturing possibilities to its customers in 2023.