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Protolabs introduces accelerated anodising and chromate plating for machined parts

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Protolabs has further expanded its CNC machining capabilities to accelerate the speed at which anodised and chromate-plated aluminium components can be sourced.

The expansion means customers can get custom-machined parts with plating faster than ever, taking as little as six days to go from the time of quote to manufacturing to shipping.

“Anodising is a well-established process, but the ability to produce parts as consistently fast as this is unprecedented,” said David Ewing, product manager CNC Machining, Protolabs Europe. “Now, when an engineer orders anodised or plated parts with Protolabs, the parts can be with them in just a few days rather than weeks.”

Anodising and surface treatment helps to prevent corrosion, increase resistance to abrasion and improve cosmetic appearance. Plating, prices, and options for CNC machining are available to customers when they upload a 3D CAD model at

Eligible materials include the aluminium alloys 6082-T651, 7075-T651 and 7075-T7351. Three coating types are available: Decorative (with a coating thickness up to 25 µm), Hard anodising (up to 100 µm) and chromate conversion (an ultra-thin electrically conductive coating by SurTec 650)

The addition of quick-turnaround plating builds on the digital manufacturer’s current CNC machining options, including advanced anodising and chromate plating capabilities with flexible lead times. Customers with more complex, high-requirement parts can tap into the company’s digital network of manufacturers at Hubs

“We are always searching for ways to support our customers further, and this year shows our commitment through developments in all of our service lines, particularly our machining service. Using our unique manufacturing model, which pairs global manufacturers with digital factories, customers can access comprehensive prototyping and production services," explained Bjoern Klaas, VP and MD of Protolabs Europe.