10/5/2015 | 1 MINUTE READ

Proto Labs Grows its AM Footprint

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The acquisition of a new facility significantly increases Proto Labs’ additive manufacturing space and overall capacity.

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Prototyping and low-volume manufacturer Proto Labs Inc. (Maple Plain, Minnesota) has acquired a new building to expand its 3D printing service. The 77,000-square-foot facility will allow the digital manufacturing company to house all of its stereolithography (SL), selective laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology under one roof. The new plant is opening in North Carolina, where Proto Labs’ current additive facilities are located, and is scheduled to become fully operational in the first half of 2016.

In addition to moving its existing equipment into the larger space, the company plans to increase its overall 3D printing capacity with new machines. Anchoring the expansion will be SLS and DMLS equipment. As 3D printing continues to grow industry-wide, Proto Labs’ plans to be well-equipped to accommodate the ongoing evolution of additive manufacturing.

“Since the launch of 3D printing at Proto Labs, we’ve increased our material selection and improved our turnaround time to days. We have also introduced additive services in Europe,” explains Rob Connelly, Proto Labs’ VP of additive manufacturing. “Our state-of-the-art facility will be a critical driver in advancing 3D printing for many years to come.”

Proto Labs acquired FineLine Prototyping Inc. in April 2014, and over the past year, its additive manufacturing capabilities have been fully integrated into Proto Labs, serving now as one of three flagship services alongside injection molding and CNC machining.

“We could not be more excited about the progress we’ve made in one short year with our additive manufacturing service,” says Vicki Holt, president and CEO at Proto Labs. “With three uniquely different and complementary offerings, we’re now truly able to help designers and engineers take a product from the initial stages of prototyping through low-volume production.”

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