3D Printing Protolabs and RS Components sign partnership deal

Editor: Alexander Stark

UK — Digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume parts Protolabs, has joined forces with RS Components, a global omni-channel product and service solutions provider for industrial customers and suppliers.

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Protolabs is a digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts.
Protolabs is a digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts.
(Source: Seefeldt Photogrgraphy)

Telford-based Protolabs will bring its industrial 3D Printing capabilities and expertise in CNC machining and injection moulding services to RS’ customers as part of a comprehensive “Design and Manufacturing Solution” the companies arranged in a deal. The aim is to improve speed to market and deliver greater flexibility of production.

The partnership deal is to enable engineers, designers and maintenance professionals to execute iterative design through RS’ Design Spark CAD software before moving to manufacture parts with Protolabs in accordance with prototyping or functional requirements.

Bjoern Klaas, Vice President and Managing Director at Protolabs, Europe, explained that the deal “means RS Components customers can enjoy a complete start-to-finish service; a broad offering that supports clients in all fields across the industrial sphere, giving them even more choice.” The designs created by users within the software can then be uploaded to Protolab's e-commerce platform for quoting, analysis (design for manufacturability) and part production.

After using the Design Spark CAD software and the e-commerce platform, RS customers can then make use of the automated systems employed by Protolabs to enable the production of parts in one day. This includes access to 3D printing technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Stereolithography (SLA), Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF), Poly Jet (3D printed silicone) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).

Klaas concluded: “Initially, the service will be available to UK customers only, but as we develop the partnership with RS Components, we look forward to delivering our digital manufacturing provision to the wider European market.”