Proto Labs Inc. is offering multi-hardness elastomeric parts technology to its prototyping tool kit.
The Maple Plain, Minn., company has added a PolyJet printer to it its industrial 3D printing services to allow designers and engineers to develop complex parts comprised of both elastomeric and rigid materials as well as multiple colors.
The PolyJet printer, from Stratasys Ltd., expands Proto Labs' capabilities "in a technology-agnostic manner," said Proto Labs Chief Technology Officer Rich Baker in a news release.
"We firmly believe in providing a variety of manufacturing options so that our customers can choose the best process for their particular application," Baker explained.
The new technology boosts Proto Labs' ability to create prototype models of liquid silicone resin and overmolded part designs. The company can now offer soft silicone parts in various hardnesses, ranging from Shore A 30 to 95. Proto Labs' PolyJet printer can make parts using Agilus 30 resin, a photopolymer with elastomeric properties that mimic silicone materials. The machine can produce single parts as big as 13.4 inches on each side and 7.9 inches deep.
Proto Labs debuted its new capability at Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo in Cleveland on March 29. It now boasts four technologies for printing: stereolithography, selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, and now PolyJet.
Proto Labs claims it can produce parts in a matter of days using 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding.