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Proto Labs has announced that its Protomold injection-moulding service has produced its 10,000th mould in Europe for French company PETZL, which designs tools and accessories, including protective helmets, lamps, harnesses and carabiners, for rock climbers, mountaineers and professionals working at height.

The 10,000th mould manufactured by Proto Labs in Europe was created for Raphaël Lanez, head of the helmet development unit at PETZL, in order to carry out tests to measure the effect of chemical products on the materials of which the protective helmets are made.

Test pieces needed to be produced quickly in order to expose them to complex environments and observe the impact of those environments on the mechanical properties of the materials used.

Before discovering Proto Labs’ Protomold service, Lanez used to produce prototypes by sintering. Now it uses ‘production-intent material’ prototype parts supplied by Protomold — saving a huge amount of time.

Key benefits of application

  • Lanez said the test piece to be used for our tests was produced very rapidly in CAD and then the parts were delivered in record time by Proto Labs. He described the service received as ‘simply incredible’.
  • Lanez particularly appreciated his discussions with Proto Labs’ French team, explaining: ‘The Proto Labs team in France is very efficient, very on the ball, very professional and, at the same time, they are friendly people to work with. I have particularly appreciated their customer service, their flexibility and obviously the quick turnaround.’
  • He concluded by saying that he would not hesitate to use Proto Labs’ services again.

Proto Labs

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Protomold delivers injection-moulded parts from moulds manufactured utilising state-of-the-art high-speed CNC machining technologies. Parts can be moulded using almost any engineering-grade resin and are ideal for prototyping, bridge tooling and low-volume production.

First Cut satisfies the need for functional prototypes much earlier in the development cycle for quantities of 1–10+. Because First Cut delivers prototypes in engineering-grade resins and aluminium they will have real material properties and improved surface finishes. In other words, they will be functional.

When you submit your 3D CAD model, Proto Labs’ powerful super-compute cluster creates an interactive quote giving pricing options and where appropriate, suggesting changes to improve manufacturability. You simply interact with your quote online, tailor options such as material and delivery to your requirements and with every change, the pricing information automatically updates. This built-in ‘what-if’ analysis enables last-minute project refinements to be accommodated at the click of a button.

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