Robert Bodor, President & CEO
The conventional manufacturing method will soon become obsolete in this era of digital transformation, as those that embrace digital tools and new technology to provide goods quicker and with a better customer experience will outperform their competition. Technology like digital manufacturing is required to enable a company to swiftly conceptualize goods in the desired style and quantity while efficiently managing the entire product lifecycle. Prototypes must be produced rapidly for companies to manufacture products on a large scale. This is where Proto Labs comes into the picture, accelerating innovation by revolutionizing manufacturing. Proto Labs provides fast and cost-efficient digital manufacturing for rapid prototypes. The company also strives to offer creative product manufacturing businesses all of the resources they need to get their product to market as soon as feasible.
Proto Labs was founded in 1999 by Larry Lukis, a successful entrepreneur who sought to drastically reduce the time it required to produce injection-moulded plastic prototype components. His solution was to develop sophisticated software that interfaced with a network of mills and presses to automate the traditional manufacturing process. As a result, plastic and metal parts can be produced in a fraction of the time necessary previously.
The technology-enabled company uses automated 3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection moulding technology to build bespoke components and assemblies. The company’s digital manufacturing strategy allows for accelerated time to market, lowers development and production costs, and decreases risk across the product life cycle. The company has an automated quotation and manufacturing system that allows it to manufacture commercial-grade plastic, metal, and liquid silicone rubber components within days, making it the world’s quickest digital manufacturing source for rapid prototyping and on-demand production.
Two decades ago, Lukis revolutionized the injection moulding industry by dismantling the whole process and rebuilding it in a more scalable, cost-effective, and software-first manner.
Since then, the company has extended the same automation framework to CNC machining and industrial 3D printing, allowing tens of thousands of engineers and companies throughout the world to benefit from unparalleled speed-to-market value.
Proto Labs virtually processes all client orders through its eCommerce site, Protolabs.com, one of its most innovative offerings. The launch of the company’s new digital manufacturing engine in November 2020 struck at an ideal time, as many companies, large and small, are under pressure to produce new or revised goods quickly as a result of the pandemic and changes in competition. Thanks to this feature, a client can obtain a quote with an interactive analysis of how Proto Labs would employ one or more of its manufacturing processes to manufacture a product within a few hours of uploading a computerized design file to Protolabs.com.
The company recognizes the significance of challenging the status quo and constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible because of its natural passion for technology, innovation, and new product creation. That is what prompted the birth of Protoworks, a research and development lab aiming to continue seeking methods to innovate and improve manufacturing processes by making them more digital, scalable, and cost-effective. The Protoworks team comprises software developers, mechanical engineers, and manufacturing experts who are committed to expanding Proto Labs’ manufacturing capabilities and bringing new processes and materials to customers so that they can prototype and launch new products to market faster and more cost-effectively.
Proto Labs provides fast and cost-efficient digital manufacturing for rapid prototypes.
Proto Labs further launched the ‘‘Cool Idea Award,’’ which is a manufacturing grant for new ideas designed to facilitate companies and educational institutions who are trying to produce innovative ideas and products that help tackle problems. The firm aims to work with people who have innovative, game-changing ideas for new products and help them get to market through manufacturing grants and promotional support.
For the last two decades, the company’s growth and expansion of capabilities have been focused on providing clients with the finest manufacturing experience in the industry. Proto Labs has positioned itself as the top digital manufacturer in the world, with a purpose to empower companies to bring innovative ideas to market by providing the world’s quickest and most comprehensive digital manufacturing service.