Stereolithography service launched by Proto Labs

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

Proto Labs has expanded its production facility in Telford with the recent addition of stereolithography (SL), an advanced additive manufacturing service for custom prototyping. This expansion means it is now able to help designers and engineers take a product from the initial stages of prototyping through to low-volume production.

Proto Labs says its additive manufacturing service can produce parts in sizes up to 736 x 635 x 533mm, using a selection of thermoplastic-like materials that mimic ABS and polypropylene.

“We are excited to be able to offer this new additive manufacturing service to our customers in Europe,” Lee Ball, Proto Labs’ operations director, said. “When compared to the commonly available fused deposition modelling (FDM) processes that are popular with hobbyists, SL offers a vastly improved level of resolution, accuracy and surface finish.

Proto Labs’ SL process is claimed to work well for prototyping very small parts and complex geometries during the earliest stages of a component’s development.

“Fast-moving businesses demand expertise, scalability and a quick turnaround of products to stay ahead of the competition. Professional additive manufacturing will allow companies to accelerate product development and turn ideas into real products in a matter of days,” Ball concluded.

The company is also planning to introduce selective laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) processes in 2016.

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