Proto Labs Launches Rapid Insert Molding Service

The capacity is said to meet demands from designers and developers requiring rapid prototyping or end-use manufacturing of insert-molded parts.

Proto Labs Inc. (Maple Plain, Minnesota), an online and technology-enabled quick-turnaround manufacturer, has officially launched an insert molding service, expanding on the company’s rapid injection molding offerings. This new capability can produce 25 to 10,000 or more insert-molded parts in 15 days or less.

Proto Labs CEO Vicki Holt says the service is a response to demands from designers and developers. “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,” she says.

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 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 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, says Proto Labs.

Related Suppliers