CNC Machining

Firstcut CNC Machining combines the responsiveness of additive manufacturing processes with parts that are machined from real blocks of engineering-grade plastic and metal for improved material selection, part functionality and cosmetic appearance. We employ three-axis milling from up to six orthogonal sides of the part to machine as many features as possible. Final parts are nearly indistinguishable from molded parts, making for highquality prototypes often used as jigs, fixtures and one-offs. Learn more.
Firstcut part example
1 to 100+ parts
Shipped in 1 to 3 days
Parts start at $95
Why CNC Machining?

Functional Testing

Parts that are milled in Firstcut have real material properties, so not only do they work well for form and fit testing, but they are ideal candidates for functional testing. When product development has progressed to where prototypes must withstand their intended final applications, CNC machining can be used to produce high-quality parts for rigorous testing and functionality assessment.
Firstcut functional testing

Jigs + Fixtures

Firstcut is frequently used when jigs or fixtures are needed for manufacturing machinery. Jigs support the relationship between a piece of work and the tool; fixtures support the piece of work itself. It’s a fast and reliable solution that can keep a company’s machines running.
Firstcut jigs and fixtures

One-offs

Sometimes only one or two parts are needed for a single project. Whereas some manufacturing companies won’t accept small quantities, we welcome one-offs. As long as you have a 3D CAD model, we’ll mill and ship your part in a matter of days.
Firstcut one-offs
Materials
There are more than 30 different plastic and metal materials in Firstcut that can be used in prototyping.
See full list of materials
  • ABS
  • Acetal
  • Acrylic
  • Nylon
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polypropylene
  • PVC
  • PEEK
  • PEI
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Stainless Steel
  • Steel Alloy
Firstcut metals example image
Firstcut suite of services
Proto Labs manufacturing processes can take your product from idea to market launch fast. CNC machining is regularly used during the beginning and middle stages of product development when small quantities of functional parts are needed.
Automated Interactive Quotes
When you have a 3D CAD model ready, simply upload it to receive an interactive quote within hours that contains free moldability analysis and pricing information. We accept all major 3D CAD file formats.
Accepted file formats for upload:
• IGES (.igs)
• STEP (.stp)
• SolidWorks (.sldprt)
• Stereolithography (.stl)
• ProE (.prt)
• Parasolid (.x_t and .x_b)
• ACIS (.sat)
• AutoCAD (.dwg, 3D only)
• Autodesk Inventor (.ipt)
• Compressed folders (.zip)
“Dang, you guys are fast. Took me longer to
bore more coworkers at the water cooler
than for you guys to get me a quote.”

— Eli Lynn
Resources
A properly equipped tool belt of resources can prove invaluable no matter what stage of production you’re in. Our website contains a library of helpful content and free design aids.