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Proto Labs has won the MWP award 2010 for the ‘Best Sub-Contractor – Machinery’ category for its First Cut and Protomold machining services.

First Cut delivers CNC-machined plastic and aluminium parts in quantities from one to 10 units, and Protomold delivers injection-moulded plastic parts in quantities from 10-10,000 units.

Proto Labs said it has improved the economics and delivery times associated with the production of prototype and low-volume parts for manufacturers with customers in industries such as medical, aerospace, automotive and domestic appliances.

The company uses an in-house-developed super-computer cluster and software, which enables an engineer or product designer to upload a 3D CAD model of a part via the secure First Cut or Protomold website and receive an online quote that includes a detailed manufacturability analysis and an accurate all-in production price within hours.

The quote also gives the chance to instantly see how material choice and delivery can affect the price.

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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