Proto Labs is the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. It’s a technology-enabled company that uses advanced 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding technologies to produce parts within days. The result is an unprecedented speed-to-market value for designers and engineers, and an on-demand manufacturing resource throughout a product’s life cycle.

Company history

Proto Labs began in 1999 specialising in the quick-turn manufacturing of custom plastic injection-moulded parts. In 2007, the company introduced its CNC machining service and in 2014, expanded into 3D printing with the addition of additive manufacturing. Proto Labs is a global company with full-service manufacturing operations in the US, Europe and Japan.

Why Proto Labs?

Proto Labs has radically changed the economics and lead times traditionally associated with manufactured parts. The rapid manufacturer provides a fast, easy and cost-effective way to obtain 1 to 10,000 parts within days, routinely shipping parts before conventional suppliers can even quote them. These quick delivery times are possible because it has automated the manual process of mould design and toolpath generation through the use of proprietary software.

Speed to market

Our rapid manufacturing capabilities start with ProtoQuote, our online, automated quoting and design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis engine. Product developers can upload 3D CAD models online and receive an interactive quote with free design analysis and real-time pricing within hours. The design analysis highlights potential issues and provides immediate solutions. It’s an iterative process that helps design engineers avoid product development speed bumps.

3D printing

Proto Labs uses the latest 3D printing technologies to provide precision accuracy to plastic and metal part production − from small pieces with complex geometries to large, highly detailed patterns. 3D printing is ideal for 1 to 50 parts and works well for form and fit testing, reducing multipart assemblies and as fully functional components in some cases.

CNC machining

The company’s CNC machining service uses three-axis milling and turning with live tooling to machine up to 200 parts from more than 30 stocked plastic and metal materials. The result is functional parts made from engineering-grade materials for prototype testing, jigs and fixtures, and end-use applications.

Injection moulding

For those who need low-volume production, bridge tooling or on-demand parts throughout a product’s life cycle, rapid injection moulding can manufacture up to 10,000 parts from hundreds of different engineering-grade plastic and liquid silicone rubber materials.