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At the Med-Tech exhibition in Coventry on 2–3 April 2014, Proto Labs will present its liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection moulding service. LSR is an engineering material that is particularly suitable for applications in the medical sector — it can withstand sterilisation and is biocompatible so works well for products requiring skin contact.

With this offering, Proto Labs brings a practical and cost-effective way to get real LSR parts really fast. Quantities from just 25 to more than 5,000 parts can be delivered in no more than three weeks and sometimes, depending on part complexity, even more quickly.

LSR parts are available from Proto Labs’ Protomold service. Users can simply upload a 3D CAD model via a secure website and receive an interactive quote within one business day, accompanied by a geometrical analysis of the part and design-for-manufacture recommendations.

Visitors to Proto Labs’ stand will have the opportunity to see a demonstration of the company’s online quoting systems and discuss ideas and project requirements with members of the team.

Proto Labs will be found on stand 36.

Key product features and benefits

  • LSR moulding shares similarities with conventional injection moulding techniques, but it also has significant differences. For example, unlike the thermoplastic material that is melted prior to injection moulding, LSR is a thermosetting, two-component mixture, which is cooled before being injected into a heated mould and vulcanised to produce the final moulded part.
  • After curing using a platinum catalyst, the moulded condition is permanent — it cannot be melted again as you could a thermoplastic part.
  • The result is that LSR is a material with excellent resistance to chemicals and electrical conductivity.
  • In addition, parts made from LSR retain their physical properties when subjected to extreme temperature, making it a popular choice in many demanding applications.

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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