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Protolabs Introduces Precision Color Matching on Molded Parts

The new color-matching system enables the digital manufacturer to mold
plastic parts in nearly any color within days

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital manufacturing leader, Protolabs
(NYSE: PRLB) has introduced an all-new color-matching system into its
plastic injection molding service. PolyOne’s PINPOINT™ Express Color and
Dosing System, featuring 3M precision dispensing and dosing
technologies, allows Protolabs to develop custom colors on site,
drastically reducing the time it takes to mold short-run plastic parts
in precise colors.

When a part design is ready, customers can specify which Pantone number
they require or simply provide a sample part that can be scanned and
color matched. Once a material is selected from 13 available resin
combinations, PolyOne’s PINPOINT system creates a liquid formula that is
dispensed and mixed before moving to the injection molding press. The
material is then fed through the doser and injection molded. The result
is parts—in custom colors—in customers’ hands within days versus weeks
as it traditionally takes.

“These new color-matching capabilities are a huge leap for the
manufacturing industry, one stacked with benefits for our customers who
are developing highly tailored products,” said Joel Matthews, global
product manager at Protolabs. “With development cycles shrinking to meet
the market demand for increased customization, this is yet another tool
to help our customers accelerate product launches and streamline supply

Protolabs, which specializes in on-demand manufacturing, has also
recently added new injection molding capabilities to further its
position as a single-source supplier from prototyping to production.
Along with custom color matching it has launched numerous secondary
processes and finishing options to support true end-to-end
manufacturing. These include pad printing and laser engraving, threaded
inserts, mold texturing for Mold-Tech finishes, and part assembly.

“All of these new capabilities are things that our customers have wanted
for a while, so we’re excited to finally be able to offer it to
them—while still delivering finished parts at industry-leading speeds,”
said Matthews.

Customers seem to agree.

“Speed and flexibility—being able to deploy different manufacturing
options—and a commitment to customer service, are the main reasons we
use Protolabs,” explained Andy Homyk, senior engineer at HemoSonics, a medtech
firm that incorporated secondary processes
to launch its new medical
device in a fraction of the time traditional manufacturing would have

About Protolabs

Protolabs is the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for rapid
prototyping and on-demand production. The technology-enabled company
produces custom parts and assemblies in as fast as 1 day with automated
3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection
molding processes. Its digital approach to manufacturing enables
accelerated time to market, reduces development and production costs,
and minimizes risk throughout the product life cycle. Visit protolabs.com
for more information.


Alex Cardenas
Highwire for Protolabs

Sarah Ekenberg
Marketing Manager, PR & Media, Protolabs