Protolabs has launched Design for Manufacturability analysis for 3D printed parts, offering peace of mind to manufacturers across Europe.
It is a significant advancement to the 3D printing offering as it provides added assurance that a part is suitable for manufacturing before committing to production, all entirely online in a matter of seconds.
Protolabs have been supporting customers using the process for CNC and injection molding offerings, and the development brings those benefits of speed and reassurance to the 3D Printing service.
“Additive manufacturing is a brilliant technology, allowing engineers to produce complex parts that were previously too difficult to achieve,” said Andrea Landoni, Protolabs EMEA’s 3D Printing product manager. “Whilst the technology offers great flexibility, there are a few limitations that engineers must be aware of, and the Design for Manufacturability (DFM) analysis provides that guidance in seconds. The system will instantly highlight all the issues to the user, whether they are critical, such as parts that are too large to be produced, or non-critical, like dimensions that are close to certain thresholds like wall thickness and may not form completely.
“We understand the importance of speed, but ensuring that parts are correct, high quality, and delivered rapidly is critical. Instant analysis means you can have all the advantages of additive manufacturing with even more certainty without sacrificing speed.”
Design for Manufacturability processes eliminate lost time incidents for most common issues, preventing engineers from proceeding with their order only to discover there has been an issue hours later. While the vast majority of problems are solved, there are circumstances where the user may still require further support.
“Protolabs understand that specific projects require technical consultancy to solve complex issues. In these circumstances, our Application Engineers are still on hand to overcome these challenges and accelerate the process,” said Landoni.
“The Design for Manufacturability analysis supports our Application Engineers by reducing the number of projects they need to get involved in, allowing them to interact with more customers who require their support even faster. “