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Proto Labs is to showcase its First Cut and Protomold prototyping technology designed to reduce the time and cost of product development at Mach 2010.

The company claimed to be the world’s fastest source for producing functional CNC machined and injection-moulded prototypes and parts using actual production materials.

Customers are using First Cut to make fully functional prototypes earlier in the development cycle in low volumes (usually from one to 10) in production-intent materials, including an array of thermoplastic resins and aluminium, which allows initial form, fit and functional testing to take place.

The next stage is to then use Protomold to order production-intent material prototypes and parts in volumes that would normally be prohibitively expensive using traditional injection-moulding processes.

By using the services together, Proto Labs said companies can use the same 3D CAD model from design concept to pre-production and make time and cost savings in the development of new products.

Protomold is also said to be ideal for emergency tooling needs due to its speed.

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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