Protolabs launched production capabilities for its metal 3D-printing service. The new capabilities use secondary processes to improve the strength, dimensional accuracy and cosmetic appearance of metal parts. Protolabs uses direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology, which is ISO 9001- and AS9100D-certified, to 3D print metal production parts. Once parts are built, several secondary options like post-process machining and heat treatments are possible, and quality-control measures like powder analysis, material traceability and process validation are taken.

The Maple Plain, Minn.-based company has added capacity to support its growth with more than 25 GE Additive Concept Laser Mlab and M2 machines for DMLS production.