Digital manufacturing company, Protolabs has launched production capabilities for its metal 3D printing service. The new capabilities use secondary processes to improve the strength, dimensional accuracy, and cosmetic appearance of metal parts. As part of the launch, enhanced inspection reporting is also available.
Protolabs uses direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology—which is ISO 9001 and AS9100D certified—to 3D print metal production parts. Once parts are built, several secondary options like post-process machining, tapping, reaming, and heat treatments are possible, and quality control measures like powder analysis, material traceability, and process validation are taken.
The production launch spotlights Protolabs’ effort toward advancing industrial 3D printing beyond prototyping.
A number of recent steps that Protolabs has taken to reinforce this including joining GE’s Additive Manufacturing Network and MIT’s Additive Manufacturing Consortium along with teaming with Wohlers Associates for an immersive 3D printing design course. The company has also added capacity to support its growth with more than 25 GE Additive Concept Laser Mlab and M2 machines for DMLS production.