3D printing analysis for a quicker turnaround

14-02-2023 | Protolabs | Industrial

Protolabs has released Design for Manufacturability analysis for 3D printed parts, providing peace of mind to European manufacturers.

It is a notable advancement to the 3D printing offering as it delivers added assurance that a part is appropriate for manufacturing before committing to production, all completely online in a matter of seconds.

The company has been supporting customers employing the process for CNC and Injection Moulding offerings, and the development offers the advantages of speed and reassurance to the 3D Printing service.

Andrea Landoni, Protolabs EMEA's 3D Printing product manager, commented: "Additive manufacturing is a brilliant technology, allowing engineers to produce complex parts that were previously too difficult to achieve.

"Whilst the technology offers great flexibility, there are a few limitations that engineers must be aware of, and the Design for Manufacturability analysis provides that guidance in seconds. The system will instantly highlight all the issues to the user, whether they are critical, such as parts that are too large to be produced, or non-critical, like dimensions that are close to certain thresholds like wall thickness and may not form completely.

"We understand the importance of speed, but ensuring that parts are correct, high quality, and delivered rapidly is critical. Instant analysis means you can have all the advantages of additive manufacturing with even more certainty without sacrificing speed."

Design for Manufacturability processes eradicate lost time incidents for most common issues, stopping engineers from proceeding with their order only to find there has been an issue hours later. Whilst the vast bulk of problems are solved, there are occurrences where the user may still need further support.

Landoni continued: "Protolabs understand that specific projects require technical consultancy to solve complex issues. In these circumstances, our Application Engineers are still on hand to overcome these challenges and accelerate the process.

"The Design for Manufacturability analysis supports our Application Engineers by reducing the number of projects they need to get involved in, allowing them to interact with more customers who require their support even faster."

By Seb Springall