Protolabs Launches Copper 3D Printing Service

April 9, 2019

Protolabs, a global provider of rapid prototyping and on-demand production, has become one of the first manufacturers in Europe to offer 3D-printed copper parts for additive manufacturing and CNC machining. Company officials expect that the introduction of 3D printing in copper alloy for rapid prototyping or low volume production will deliver new design possibilities for engineers across industry sectors, including automotive and aerospace.

For its 3D printing, Protolabs uses a low-alloyed copper material, CuNi2SiCr, which combines good mechanical properties and corrosion resistance with high thermal and electrical conductivity, opening up opportunities for engineers to develop parts rapidly for harsh environments where pure copper is not a feasible option.

“This development means that engineers can now bring copper parts to market more quickly and cost effectively,” says Andrea Landoni, product manager for Protolabs. “It also opens up new design possibilities as additive manufacturing allows you to develop geometries not possible using other methods, such as CNC machining. “Some internal channels, for example, can create very complex issues.

“Additive manufacturing is not the best answer for every project, however,” Landoni continues. “Unlike most specialist 3D printing companies, we also produce parts using CNC machining and injection molding. For example, if you need higher volumes of copper parts or need to produce a relatively simple geometry, then CNC machining could be a better solution. We offer the best technology for both options, which means our application engineers are ideally placed to advise on all inquiries.”
Industry-Related Terms: Additive manufacturing
View Glossary of 3D Metal Printing Terms

 

See also: ProtoLabs Inc

Technologies: Metal Powders

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