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Protolabs Debuts Volume Pricing via Digital Network of Manufacturers

Manufacturing model pairs company’s own digital factories with distributed supplier network to expand options for product developers and production buyers.

Manufacturing model pairs company’s own digital factories with distributed supplier network to expand options for product developers and production buyers.

Protolabs has expanded its manufacturing capabilities and pricing options available to designers, engineers and buyers worldwide. By leveraging the company's digital network of manufacturers at Hubs, customers can access advanced capabilities, reduce part cost and increase part quantities across CNC machining, injection molding and 3D printing services, according to Protolabs. The expansion complements the low-volume, on-demand manufacturing services already available from Protolabs, the company adds.

“Over the past few years, we’ve talked with thousands of customers around the world,” says Rob Bodor, president and CEO at Protolabs. “Many still require quick-turn parts to support their new product innovation or to address supply disruptions. However, a common sentiment in many of these conversations has been the need for cost-efficient parts for volume production in a time when many have reduced budgets.”

Here’s a breakdown of additional options unlocked by the manufacturing network:

  • CNC machining: Tolerances down to +/- 0.001 in. (0.020 mm) are now achievable. Plating (black oxide, nickel), anodizing (Type II, Type III), and chromate coating are available in larger quantities. Parts sizes can range from as large as 40 in. (1,000mm) to as small as 0.02 in. (0.5mm).
  • Injection molding: High-requirement molding projects in need of larger and deeper parts (47.24x27.56x11.81 in.; 1,200x700x300 mm) and more complex parts are also possible.
  • 3D printing: Fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing is available via the network for rapid prototyping of cost-efficient parts. This is in addition to Protolabs’ six other plastic and metal additive manufacturing technologies offered through its digital factories.

All manufacturing capabilities are now live and available to customers, who can access the new CNC machining through, and expanded injection molding and 3D printing FDM options directly through

“Never before has the industry seen a digital manufacturing model quite like this. Protolabs has combined the speed and quality of a service bureau built from the ground up with a highly vetted distributed network of global manufacturers,” said Alex Cappy, Vice President and CEO of Hubs. “We’re pushing the envelope further than ever before to provide a truly seamless service at Protolabs.”

Learn more about Protolabs’ new digital manufacturing model, compare factory and network capabilities, and order parts online at its website.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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