The company, which works with thousands of product designers, engineers and procurement teams across the country, has responded to the need for reduced product development time and evolved project management tools required for the growing shift towards on-demand manufacturing.
The UK launch comes at a time when global engineering and manufacturing sectors are looking to respond to COVID-19 and the extreme economic challenges it has created for markets and supply chains.
Rich Baker, chief technology officer at Protolabs, commented: “Speed in testing parts, speed in getting products to market fast, speed in manufacturing throughout product life cycles – these have always been vital elements in any project.
“However, they are even more pressing now. Unprecedented changes in many of our markets are underway due to customer demand and the ongoing pandemic, but technological advancements in manufacturing are throwing the doors of innovation wide open to allow suppliers and their customer to pivot quickly. And that agility is often the difference between success and failure.”
Protolabs’ new digital manufacturing platform allows users to easily manage prototyping and on-demand manufacturing requirements. Like the previous platform, it still offers quotes for parts with Design for Manufacturability (DFM) analysis, but now has a more intuitive, user-friendly and even faster interface.
Users can create projects with multiple uploads, quotes can be shared with colleagues, real time pricing is visible based on project specifications and it offers all three of the firm’s manufacturing services - 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding - in one place.
Bjoern Klaas, vice president and managing director of Protolabs Europe, commented: “The focus now, more than ever, is on speed and making sure new products are either first to market or ready when the end customer needs them. That is why we are so excited to be launching our new e-commerce platform in the UK and Europe.
Operating from manufacturing facilities across three continents, Protolabs helps customers accelerate product development in a number of industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, heavy industry and electronics.