Proto Labs Launches Rapid Magnesium Injection Molding Service
Low-volume magnesium molding bridges manufacturing gap between prototyping and production.
Magnesium is a strong and lightweight metal that is increasingly being
used in the automotive and aerospace industries to reduce the weight of
components. “In recent years, lightweighting has become a significant
factor in automotive product development, for example, as engineers are
being tasked with drastically reducing vehicle weight in order to
improve vehicle gas mileage,” says Proto Labs’ engineer and product
Proto Labs’ injection molding process, known also as thixomolding, is viewed as an alternative to machining and die casting processes. It involves heating chipped magnesium feedstock in the barrel of a press, where it is transformed into a gel-like state before high-speed injection into a steel mold to create the part.
Magnesium AZ-91D joins Proto Labs’ current injection molding offerings that include more than a hundred thermoplastic, liquid silicone rubber, steel and stainless steel materials. “Magnesium injection molding is yet another fast and cost-effective manufacturing method for Proto Labs’ customers to use as they race to quickly launch products to market,” explains Cater.