Your Guide to Digital Manufacturing

The Balancing Act: Unlocking Innovation in Manufacturing

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Striking the Balance

Profound shifts in society, technology and geopolitics are accelerating the pace of change in industries across the globe – particularly in manufacturing. With so many manufacturers seeking new operating methods to get ahead of the competition, there are calls for more innovative ways of working. Every successful manufacturer understands the importance of innovation and its impact on market share, revenue and customer satisfaction, but do they understand the impact on their people and the true cost of innovation?

To shed light on this topic, we connected with 450 executives across Europe from three vital sectors: aerospace, automotive, and energy, to gain insights into how these industries are embracing innovation and to better understand how they plan to overcome the potential obstacles that lie ahead.

Our Findings

The results of our survey bring both good news and challenges. We are witnessing the dawn of a new golden age of innovation, with manufacturers wholeheartedly embracing the opportunities that lie before them. However, every opportunity comes with its own set of problems. Across all three sectors, we found that innovators are under immense pressure, grappling with soaring costs, employee turnover, and volatile supply chains – all of which threaten to impede progress.

As the pressure to innovate grows, manufacturers are making bold decisions around supply chain, culture and technology to get ahead.

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These are some of the companies who trust us and our services

"I needed to find a manufacturing partner that understood what I was trying to create and how important it was to get the product to market before another innovation came to light. Protolabs recognises this urgency."

— John Docherty, Boxing Hand Grenade

Consultative Quoting

Get design feedback from our experienced engineering team that has helped thousands of customers bring their products to market with quality 3D printed parts. We will also work with you to determine optimal part orientation based on your application's requirements.

Wide Material Selection

Across our five 3D printing technologies, we use a range of commercial-grade thermoset resins, and thermoplastic and metal powders to 3D print parts that are suitable for various part applications and industries. 

Precision & Repeatablity

Our industry-leading tolerances and surface finish quality stems from a dedicated process engineering and quality team for each 3D printing technology. We also offer a proprietary material called Microfine™, which can build features as small as 0.07mm.

Unmatched Scale

Our facility is home to more than 120 3D printing machines that produce metal and plastic parts. This means we'll always have capacity when you need parts fast.

would require a new manufacturing strategy to support the 4-day working week

are already using cobotics or will do in the next few years

believe short periods of mandated onsite working are optimal when innovating

Why Choose Protolabs?


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Contact Us

Proto Labs, Ltd.
Halesfield 8
Telford, Shropshire

T: +44 (0) 1952 683047

believe their industry is entering a new golden age of innovation

of the most successful innovators struggle to retain their most innovative employees

have not made changes to their supply chains, despite recent distruptions