Proto Labs – Real Parts. Really Fast.
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Proto Labs, Inc., through its Firstcut and Protomold services, utilizes proprietary computing technologies and automated manufacturing systems to provide prototype parts and short-run production services. All parts are made by standard production methods, delivered at affordable prices, and can be delivered in as fast as one day.
We provide accessible, live customer support before, during, and after an order is placed. And while offering personalized service, Proto Labs has the capacity to produce dozens of designs simultaneously, now with sales, customer service, and fully operational manufacturing facilities in Maple Plain, MN, Telford, England, and Tokyo, Japan.
Visit our websites to check out all of our design resources, including our interactive quoting systems, monthly Protomold Design Tips, and quarterly Proto Labs Journal. We also offer Design Guidelines, Material Selection information, white papers, and more. ISO 9001:2008 Certified
Protomold – Rapid Injection Molded Parts
Proto Labs rapid injection molding service, Protomold®, is the world's fastest source for custom rapid injection molded parts. The company fills a unique niche in the manufacturing of plastic parts, using a combination of advanced, proprietary software and sophisticated equipment to produce prototype and low volume runs of custom rapid injection molded parts. The material properties of Protomold's real molded parts surpass those of parts produced by additive prototyping processes. At the same time, delivery is faster and costs are lower than those associated with traditional injection molding.
Protomold supports most engineering grade resins and offers a range of cosmetic finishes, making the parts ideal for functional testing during product development. And while Protomold parts have none of the shortcomings—limited resin choice and rough finish—typical of additive prototyping processes, they provide the same advantages of speed and low price. In fact, the functionality of Protomold parts has led hundreds of customers to turn to Protomold for bridge tooling, reducing by weeks or even months their products' time to market. In many cases, rapid injection molding has even replaced traditional injection molding for final production.
Protomold's process automation begins with quoting. The company's automated quoting system accepts customers' 3D CAD models and returns a detailed ProtoQuote® interactive quote (along with suggested design changes, if appropriate) typically within hours of your 3D CAD upload. Customers can interact freely with ProtoQuote®, changing resins, delivery times, and other parameters and getting adjusted mold and piece-part pricing as they do so. Once a design is ready and the customer submits a purchase order, parts can be completed and shipped as fast as the next business day.
Firstcut – CNC Machined Parts
Proto Labs CNC machining service, Firstcut®, is the world's fastest source for custom CNC machined parts. The company fills a unique niche in the manufacturing of plastic and aluminum prototype parts. Proto Labs uses a combination of advanced, proprietary software and sophisticated equipment to produce prototype parts with real materials, incredible convenience and great value.
Firstcut CNC machining service is not only great for prototypes, but is great for functional testing, fixtures, jigs, "one-off" projects, or offloading internal machining resources. Choose from over 30 different materials including ABS, Nylon, PC, Delrin, PEEK, ULTEM, aluminum, and brass. You get real material properties and improved surface finishes in as fast as one day.
Firstcut's process automation begins with online quoting. The company's automated quoting system accepts customers' 3D CAD models and returns a detailed FirstQuote® interactive quote (along with suggested design changes, if appropriate) typically within hours of your 3D CAD upload. Customers can interact freely with FirstQuote, changing material selections, and getting adjusted piece-part pricing as they do so. Once a design is ready and the customer approved quote, parts can be completed and shipped as fast as the next business day.
Proto Labs Capabilities:
Proto Labs is the world's fastest provider of CNC machined and rapid injection molded parts. Its Firstcut and Protomold services utilize proprietary computing technologies and automated manufacturing systems to provide both prototype and short-run production parts.
Proto Labs Markets:
Our single focus is to provide new product designers with the easiest, fastest and least-expensive way to obtain low volumes of parts based on their 3D CAD design. Our Firstcut CNC machining service supports an array of engineering grade resins as well as aluminum, and our Protomold plastic rapid injection molding service offers hundreds of choices to designers. This capability is applicable to all markets, including but not limited to medical devices, electronics, appliance, automotive and consumer products.
Proto Labs, Inc. began in 1999 as The Protomold Company, Inc. which specialized in the quick-turn manufacture of custom plastic rapid injection molded parts. In 2007 the company introduced the Firstcut quick-turn CNC machining service, and soon after changed the corporate name to Proto Labs, Inc. Additional quick-turn parts manufacturing services will be added under the Proto Labs umbrella in the coming months.
What makes Proto Labs different?
Proto Labs has radically changed the economics and lead times associated with obtaining CNC machined and rapid injection molded parts. We routinely ship parts to design engineers before they can even get quotes from conventional suppliers, sometimes as fast as the next business day. We can do this because we have automated the manual processes normally associated with mold design and toolpath generation through the use of proprietary software. Our ProtoQuote® and FirstQuote® systems are interactive and provide free manufacturability analysis based on the 3D CAD information provided by the customer. And we do all of this in-house, with the scale that is required to support the largest projects.
Cool Idea! Award
Proto Labs' wants to award innovative thinking and help get great ideas off the ground. The Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award is all about nurturing promising products while they're still ideas. In 2012 we will award up to $250,000 in machining services and/or injection molding services to people who have a cool idea for a product and submit 3D CAD models of their parts. One or more awards may be granted each quarter with the aggregate of all awards not to exceed $250,000. Award is open to residents in the United States and Europe.