The service will focus on Protolabs’ industrial 3D printing capabilities, but it will also include their CNC machining and injection moulding services.
RS said that it was committed to helping customers navigate the challenges around digitalisaton and the adoption of Industry 4.0. and this announcement should be seen as being in line with that.
Design and Manufacturing Solutions sits within a suite alongside services such as calibration, procurement, maintenance and inventory solutions – a broad offering that is intended to support customers in all fields across the industrial sphere, and giving them greater choice.
Commenting Mike Bray, Group Lead, Innovation, R&D and DesignSpark said, “In a rapidly evolving engineering space, having access to services that can facilitate the fast provision of prototypes or parts that are suited to a wide variety of applications can provide a real competitive edge. At RS, our mission is to help our customers maximise the opportunities around Industry 4.0, and both educate them on the latest technology innovations and make them accessible. Our partnership with Protolabs supports that mission perfectly.”
RS's Design and Manufacturing Solutions will support engineers, designers, procurement and maintenance professionals, enabling them to reduce downtime, save money and execute iterative design. For DesignSpark software users the designs they create within the software can now be uploaded to Protolabs’ e-commerce platform for quoting, analysis (design for manufacturability) and part production.
Once the parts are ordered, the automated systems employed by Protolabs enable the production of parts in as little as one day, also ensuring the high precision needed for complex designs and functional prototypes.
The 3D printing technologies used by Protolabs include Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Stereolithography (SLA), Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF), PolyJet (3D printed silicone) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). The parts can be produced in a wide range of plastics and metals.