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Proto Labs has been selected by locksmith 1st Call Lockouts and agency Nebulem to test the design concept of the enclosure of the Touchclone car-key cloning system via the machining of prototypes using its Firstcut CNC machining service.

Investors in the Touchclone system were keen to see and feel a prototype product made from real engineering materials, rather than those used in rapid-prototyping processes.

The design had to achieve several goals: it must emulate the tablet format currently popular for portable PC devices; it must be comfortable to hold; and it must be attractive.

Proto Labs machined two prototypes in nylon.

Key benefits of product application

  • The machined samples were accurate enough that Michael Hims of 1st Call Lockouts said his company was able to use the prototype covers to closely scrutinise the entire product design.
  • Proto Labs’ design reviewing system played an important part in the early stages of the design process, getting all parties on the same page.

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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