Proto Labs Inc., launched its insert molding service at Pacific Design & Manufacturing in Anaheim this week, expanding on the company’s rapid injection molding offerings.
This new capability can produce 25 to 10,000-plus insert-molded parts in 15 days or less.
“We’re delighted to now be delivering a new service that designers and developers have been asking us for,” says Proto Labs CEO Vicki Holt. “As we help companies large and small accelerate their product development with our digital manufacturing methods, insert molding offers another important tool for these companies to make prototype or end-use parts as quickly as possible.”
Insert molding is the process of overmolding thermoplastic material around a preformed component (an insert) to create a finished part that incorporates multiple materials. The inserts are generally metal parts that are used to reinforce the mechanical properties of the plastic part.
The metal inserts are placed into the mold to form the part.
A variety of components are manufactured with insert molding, such as electronic parts, medical equipment, housings, knobs, handles and dials, and are found in several industries, such as medical, automotive and consumer products. Product designers and engineers frequently turn to insert molding for improving part strength while trimming part weight and reducing assembly costs, production time and labor.
“With quick-turn insert molding services at Proto Labs, I was able to receive functional prototypes in weeks,” says Chris Mazzucco, Design and Development Engineer at Zebra Technologies, an Illinois-based information technology company that manufactures and sells marking, tracking and computer printing technologies.