Proto Labs, the rapid prototyping and on-demand digital manufacturing service provider, based in Telford, Shropshire, announces the acquisition of 26 new CNC machines from supplier, HAAS Automation, in the UK.

This expansion is reflective of the level of innovation in industry and strength in UK manufacturing. As one of the world’s fastest digital manufacturing sources, Proto Labs is in a key position to support manufacturing growth through the production of prototypes and low-volume production runs for businesses, designers and engineers across Europe.

HAAS Automation, the largest global CNC machine tool manufacturer, has supported Proto Labs CNC machine requirements since 2005 when the company was established in the UK, with the delivery of 4 machines. The supplier relationship with HAAS has developed with the current order of 26 machines, where 12 of which are provided with 5-axis capability. The order comprises: 6 VM3 machines and 20 VF2YT. Of the 20 VF2YT model, 12 are for complex CNC machining, with the remaining 8 for CNC machining of moulds and tools for injection moulding.

Lee Ball, Operations Director for Proto Labs UK, commented, “Rapid prototyping and manufacturing mid-volume production runs at speed, are essential capabilities valued by our customers which these new machines help us to deliver. Critically, with this additional capacity, we can readily keep pace with production demand, as the requirements of our customers increase across Europe.

Pat Fenn, Commercial Director for HAAS, commented “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with Proto Labs, since 2005 when they first established operations in Europe. Since the initial delivery of just 4 machines in 2005, Proto Labs impressively has over 130 HAAS machines on-site in Telford and, with 26 machines delivered this month, Proto Labs is the biggest user of HAAS machines in the UK.”


Delivered and commissioned in July and August, the latest HAAS machines selected, offer additional capabilities, which add value to Proto Labs’ customers. By introducing a model with 40 tool positions per carousel, this eliminates the need to replace tools on the carousel prior to each order, as the tools are available instantly when required. Bespoke engineering is a feature of the HAAS relationship, with HAAS adapting the machines to Proto Labs’ specific requirements to accelerate the rate at which customer orders can be carried out. Supported by a programme of planned maintenance for all our HAAS machines, Proto Labs has the capacity and capability to meet customers’ CNC demands from across Europe.