Protolabs grows 3D printing capability with £10.5m European investment

Funding | International | Manufacturing | Midlands

One of the UK’s fastest-growing digital manufacturers has begun work on a £10.5m investment that will increase its 3D printing capability by 50% to meet the growing demand for this technology.

Protolabs, which specialises in custom prototypes and low-volume production parts, is building a new 5000 square metre production facility in Putzbrunn in Germany that will give customers even greater access to the firm’s automated manufacturing processes and quality systems.

Despite the current Covid-19 pandemic impacting economies across Europe, construction of the new building has started, with the initial shell scheduled to be completed by the end of December this year and the fit-out and machinery due to be installed in several stages beginning in May 2021.

Up to 25 further machines and state-of-the-art equipment will be added to the existing technology, whilst a CNC machining centre – with a 5-axis milling machine – will be installed to support the finishing of 3D printed parts for high-end applications. Automated finishing, colouring and painting systems will also be part of the expansion, along with additional 3D printing technologies in the future.

This is the latest investment by Protolabs in supporting its global customer base across automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics and heavy industry and follows the £5m extension currently being finalised at its European Headquarters in Telford.

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