Digital Manufacturing

Insight: June Edition

Updated on Monday 15 February 2021, 12:02 PM

4 Minute Read

Our Insight video series will help you master digital manufacturing. Every Friday we’ll post a new video – each one giving you a deeper Insight into how to design better parts. We’ll cover specific topics such as choosing the right 3D printing material, optimising your design for CNC machining, surface finishes for moulded parts, and much more besides.

Below is a recap of our latest Insight videos, which you can also view alongside all of our previous videos on our website. Never want to miss an Insight video? Subscribe here!


Insight: CNC Mistakes

Over the years Protolabs have dealt with thousands of CADs for CNC and most, after a little bit of tweaking, are great. There are, however, some common mistakes that if avoided will save time and therefore production cost. In this video we go through six common mistakes to help you get faster deliveries and lower production costs. We look at unnecessary machine cutting, avoiding small or raised text, avoiding tall thin walls, draft, holes that can’t be threaded, considering how the part will be manufactured.


Insight: Injection Moulding Considerations

Injection moulding is, in many ways, one of the simpler manufacturing processes. There are no lasers and no machining – just filling up a cavity with liquid plastic. However, just because it’s easy to understand, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways for it to trip you up. In this week’s video we go through mistakes that can slow down the process and cause parts to fail. We’ve compiled a list of eight of the most common issues and how to avoid them, covering: non-uniform wall thickness, sharp transitions from thick to thin areas, c-shaper parts, CAD file format, radii, parting lines, undercuts, and cosmetic finishes.


Insight: Injection Moulding Gates

Gates are a completely and utterly vital part to the injection moulding process as they are used to get liquid resin from the moulding press into the mould – essentially, where we do the injecting part of injection moulding. However, they do tend to leave their mark on parts, in the form of blemishes and dimples on the surface. In this video we look at different places to locate the gate and the best sort of gate to use, covering tab gates, hot tip gates, and pin gates.


Insight: Supply Chain Management

Successful supply chain management can provide a number of safeguards along the product life cycle process. In this video we discuss a number of those safeguards to help prevent potential disruptions and help ensure you achieve your product delivery targets. These start from the quoting process, and how online quoting software can advise on manufacturability; also, prototyping for testing, and how 3D printing can cut down lead times allowing for more iterations; finally, support for a pilot production or ‘soft launch’ where a few thousand units can be manufactured for the purpose of market testing while preparations are being made for later mass production.


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