Supporting parts from start to finish

Beat competition with quality parts made at unbeatable speeds.


ISO 9001:2015 | ISO 14001 | ISO 45001 | ISO 13485 (for medical) | DNV Certification (for Oil) | JOSCAR (Aerospace) 

Number of parts produced, on average, every year
Number of companies we work with every year

Got an Idea, but no CAD?

If you need support creating a CAD a design firm may be the way to go. What is a design firm? A design firm is a consulting company. They work with you to help bring your ideas to life. Whether it be simply supporting producing a CAD file, or supporting you through the whole journey of CAD, to functional testing, to production. Here at Protolabs we commonly deal with design firms who have an industrial/ engineering link. If you wish to learn more about design firms we recommend, please do feel free to reach out and speak to one of our sales consultants.

Alternatively, if you just want a CAD, we highly recommend RS Components. RS components provide a design software called DesignSpark to support with your CAD requirements.


What Protolabs offers Design Firms and their customers?

  • Manufacturing Speed
  • Design for Manufacturablity Feedback
  • Consultative Design Service
  • No Minimum Order Quantity (MOQs)
  • Single Supplier
  • European Production/ Global Reach
  • Quality Capabilities
  • Infinite Capacity
  • Wide Material Selection
  • Scale and Production
  • Digital Network


Design for Manufacturability Analysis (DFMA)

Need to ensure your part is manufacturable before you go back to your client?

Why not make use of our free design for manufacturability software?

Upload a quote now, within 24 hours (though, often minutes) you will receive a quote back, advising you on whether your part is manufacturable with Protolabs.

If not, or if there are any issues with your part, these will be flagged up. Feel free to adjust and re-upload for another quote at no charge.

If you require support from our service specialist engineers, make use of our free consultant design service. Our engineers can review your project and suggest amends to make your part manufacturable, cut costs, or avoid issues such as warp, draft, knit lines and more.

Upload a Part Now

Why should design firms choose Protolabs as a manufacturing supplier?

Speed and Efficiency

digital thread

We understand that speed is important in the design firm industry. Our streamlined manufacturing processes, automated workflows and optimised resources enable prompt turn around, meeting even the tightest deadlines without compromising on quality.

Increase Speed to Market

Quality and Precision


Here at Protolabs quality is at the top of our priorities. We maintain stringent quality assurance measures adhering to many quality standards.
Our inspection services further this commitment to bringing you quality parts, consistently.

Quality Certifications

Seamless Collaboration


We are committed to working closely with your design firm to understand your design intent and deliver the superior results you require, for the timescales you need to meet. Our experienced team of engineers and manufacturing specialists are available throughout the process to provide valuable feedback, suggestions and technical expertise as required.

Increased Collaboration

Capacity and Scalability


Our scaleable manufacturing capabilities allow us to adapt to your project requirements and ensure that we can effectively support your evolving growth and demands. You can rely on us to consistently deliver high-quality results, regardless of project size and complexity.

Start-up to Scale-up

Comprehensive Support & Timely Communication


With Protolabs you'll experience exceptional customer support from start to finish. Our team is available to address questions, provide guidance and offer technical support as and when you need it.
Our included consultative design services allows for in-depth support from our application engineering team in order to support you in making your part manufacturable.

Consultative Design Analysis

Cutting Edge Manufacturing Technologies

microfine green

At Protolabs we strive to include the latest and greatest advancements in digital manufacturing technologies. Our state-of-the-art equipment and expertise enable us to handle a wide range of materials and production processes, giving you the freedom to explore your design possibilities.

Prototyping Processes


custom finish

We understand that design firms thrive on uniqueness and customisation. With Protolabs, you can fully realise your creative vision. Our advanced manufacturing systems allow for highly flexible and customisable production, accommodating your specific design requirements and ensuring that your clients' expectations are exceeded.


Logistics and Delivery

We ship parts in as fast as 1 day. Perfect for rapid prototyping and functional testing requirements.
We have facilities across the globe, ready to serve and deliver to your location. Here in Europe we have a facility in the UK and two facilities in Germany to produce parts for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions.
On top of that our digital network houses facilities across the globe. Learn more here.


injection moulding service animated icon

Injection Moulding in the Design Firms Industry at Protolabs

Our three injection moulding services include; plastic injection moulding, liquid silicone rubber and overmoulding and insert moulding. Parts can be produced using these services in as fast as 1-15 working days. We offer rapid prototyping and on-demand manufacturing. Basic reports come with both types of production, but if you progress to our on-demand production you also receive scientific moulding process development report, in-process CMM inspection of critical dimensions, including 9 GD&T symbols, first article inspection (CTQ), and 30 part capability study (CTQ).

cnc service animated icon

CNC Machining in the Design Firms Industry at Protolabs

Through our CNC Machining service, we offer CNC milling and CNC turning. Parts can be produced using this service in as fast as 1-3+ working days. Our processes utilise 3-axis and 3+2 (5) axis milling. We also support with threading, anodising, plating and much more.
For parts that are not required as quickly, but have tighter budget constraints, we can offer longer turnaround times at more cost-efficient prices.

3d printing service animated icon

3D Printing in the Design Firms Industry

3D printing may be the newby to rapid manufacturing, but don't underestimate the limitless potential offered by this service. At Protolabs Europe we offer stereolithography, selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, multi jet fusion, polyjet and 3D printed silicone. Through our digital network we can also offer FDM.
Parts can be produced via our 3D printing services in as fast as 1-7+ days depending on materials, service used, post processing and part complexity.

What Materials does Protolabs offer for Injection Moulding?

expand_less expand_more
Thermoplastic Materials

We have wide selection of more than 100 thermoplastic and thermoset materials. And if you're looking for alternative material options, check out our guide to resin substitutes for ABS, PC, PP, and other commonly molded plastics.

  • LDPE
  • Nylon
  • PBT
  • PEEK
  • PEI
  • PMMA (Acrylic, Plexiglas)
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polypropylene
  • PS
  • PPS
  • TPC-ET
  • TPE
  • TPU
  • TPV

Learn More


Liquid Silicone Rubber Materials

  • Standard Silicone (30, 50, 60, and 70 durometers)
  • Dow Corning MS-1002 Clear
  • Dow Corning MS-4002 Optical Clear


Learn More

What Capabilities does Protolabs offer for Injection Moulding?

expand_less expand_more

Please see our service pages;

For Plastic Injection Moulding

For Liquid Silicone Rubber

For Overmoulding & Insert Moulding

For information on designing complex features, please see our toolkit for mouldability.

What does Protolabs offer the Design Firms Industry using CNC Machining?

expand_less expand_more

What Materials does Protolabs offer for CNC Machining?

expand_less expand_more


  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Carbon Steel
  • Copper
  • Mild Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium


Learn More

What Capabilities does Protolabs offer for CNC Machining?

expand_less expand_more

Please see our service pages;

For CNC Milling

For CNC Turning

For information on designing complex features, please see our toolkit for machinability.

What Materials does Protolabs offer for 3D Printing?

expand_less expand_more


  • Aluminium
  • Cobalt Chrome
  • Inconel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
  • Maraging Steel


  • ABS
  • PA (Nylon)
  • Polycarbonate


  • Digital Photopolymer
  • TPU
  • True Silicone
  • 3D Printed Silicone

Learn More

What Capabilities does Protolabs offer for 3D Printing?

expand_less expand_more

Please see our service pages;

For Stereolithography

For Selective Laser Sintering

For Direct Metal Laser Sintering

For Multi Jet Fusion

For PolyJet & 3D Printed Silicone

For information on designing complex features, please see our toolkit for 3D printing.

Design Firm Case Studies

Some examples of products we have worked on alongside design firms.



Protolabs helps vital head injury relief product enter the premier league



Protolabs climbs aboard the fourth agri-revolution


The Powerfist Gauntlet from popular fantasy game Warhammer became reality thanks to Luma ID and Protolabs


Design consultancy Nebulem—Bringing Ideas to Life

Comate Vodka XAU

Comate Vodka XAU
A drop of technology adds sophistication to an exceptional vodka
Comate Vodka XAU


From an idea to a patented product thanks to Protolabs

LG Allen Design

LG Allen
Pushing pedal power through precision design
LG Allen Design

Origin Product Design

Origin product design
Design Through Engineering
Origin Product Design

Secondary Services, Post-Processing and Finishing


What finishes do Protolabs offer for Injection Moulding?

expand_less expand_more
  • Inspection Reports
    • Manufacturing Analysis
    • Scientific Moulding and Process Qualification
    • Critical to Quality Reporting
      • In-process quality feedback at the press with no impact to lead time
      • Reduction in cost and time by eliminating in-house measurements
      • A dimensional report to qualify samples
      • Critical design and material performance lessons for current and future iterations
      • Improved part accuracy and dimensional adherence on customer-specified critical dimension(s)
    • GD&T Specifications
      • Position
      • Flatness
      • Straightness
      • Circularity
      • Parallelism
      • Perpendicularity
      • Concentricity
      • Cylindricity
  • Threaded Inserts
  • Pad Printing/ Tampo Printing
  • Laser Engraving
  • Basic Assembly
    • Heat Staking
    • Post-Moulding Heated Inserts
    • Post-Moulding Tapping
    • Part Marking
    • Ultrasonic Welding
    • Manual Assembly
      • Mechanical Assembly
      • Gluing
      • Pressed Inserts
      • Attaching Bought-Out Parts
      • Attaching Smaller Additional Components (e.g. pads, stickers, tape)

What Finished do Protolabs Offer for CNC Machining?

expand_less expand_more
  • Inspection Reports
  • Anodising 
    • Decorative Anodising to ISO 7599
    • Hard Anodising to ISO 10074
  • Chromate Conversion
    • Surtec 650
  • Basic Assembly
    • Heat Staking
    • Post-Moulding Heated Inserts
    • Post-Moulding Tapping
    • Part Marking
    • Ultrasonic Welding
    • Manual Assembly
      • Mechanical Assembly
      • Gluing
      • Pressed Inserts
      • Attaching Bought-Out Parts
      • Attaching Smaller Additional Components (e.g. pads, stickers, tape)
  • Part Marking

What Finishes do Protolabs Offer for 3D Printing?

expand_less expand_more
  • Post Process Machining
    • 3 and 5 axis milling
    • Turning
    • Wire EDM
    • Tapping
  • Painting and Custom Finishing
  • Vapour Smoothing
  • Powder Analysis & Material Traceability
    • Traceability
    • Chemistry
    • Particle size and distribution analysis
  • Mechanical Testing
    • Tensile
    • Hardness Testing
    • Fatigue
    • Vibration
  • Heat Treatments
    • Stress Relief
    • Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP)
    • Solution Annealing
    • Aging
  • Quality & Inspection Reports
    • Dimensional Inspections with Report
    • First Article Inspection (FAI)
    • CMM, optical, and CT scanning
    • X-ray
    • Surface Roughness and Porosity Analysis
    • Certificate of Compliance with Parts Tracking

Design Firm FAQs

What industries does Protolabs work with?

expand_less expand_more

Here at Protolabs we serve all industries and we have a wide array of processes and capabilities to support all business needs.

Some of our capabilities include;

- ISO 13485 certification for medical applications

- MicroFineTM Green material for producing micro resolution parts with minimum features as small as 0.07mm on the XY plane

- Vapour Smoothing retains the advantages of the materials with the addition of a smooth finish, similar to that which you get with injection moulding.

- Anodising, offers corrosion resistance, hard surface and wear resistance and improved visual appearance.

- DNV qualification of Manufacture Certification for Inconel

- Joscar Certification

- ISO 9001:2015 for quality

- ISO 14001:2018

How long does the process take from CAD to production?

expand_less expand_more

This varies depending on the service, material, complexity and finishes, amongst other things.

Our normal time scales for each service are as follows;

Injection Moulding parts in 1-15+ days

CNC Machining parts in 1-3+ days

3D Printing parts in 1-7+ days

Our design for manufacturability means you will receive your complex back within 24 hours, depending on complexity, you could receive it back within minutes.

What are the costs of your services?

expand_less expand_more

This is a really difficult question answer and it does depend on the part, the complexity, the material etc.

Prices for Injection Moulding start from £995

If you are interested in our prices, please upload your part for a free quote, usually within minutes.

Can you work within our budget constraints?

expand_less expand_more

We will do our very best to work with your constraints. If your quote is coming back and it is not what you are hoping for, please free to read our hand guides on how to reduce cost (linked below) or reach out to one of our applications engineers for consultation.

Reducing Cost for Injection Moulding

Reducing Cost for CNC Machining

Reducing Cost for 3D Printing

Do you have any examples of previous design firms you have worked with?

expand_less expand_more

We work with and have worked with many design firms across Europe, however, here are some case studies for projects we have worked with design firms to complete.


Polarcool (part 1, part 2)




Comate Vodka XAU

Origin Product Design

LG Allen Design


How can Protolabs support with the design process?

expand_less expand_more

At Protolabs we can support as little or as much as you like during your design to production journey.

Concept + Research: Have you started? Do you need inspiration? What materials to use, what process to choose, what features to include. Why not take a look through our extensive library of resources, from design tips, to guides, trend reports, design aids and much more.

Design: Upload your part into our ecommerce platform for a free design for manufacturability analysis. This analysis will give you a break down of costs, timescales and potential issues with your part. You can iterate and re-upload as many times as you like for no charge. If you need support, why not take advantage of our free CDS consultant design service. Our application engineers are on hand to support you with complex geometries, tricky features, material specifications, cost reduction, and much more.

Prototype: Use one of our three manufacturing services, injection moulding, CNC machining or 3D printing to prototype your part for validation and functional testing. Our quick turn arounds mean you could have your parts in hand within a day.

Production: Once your part is tested and validated use one of our three manufacturing processes to create your part. Our processes include inspection reports to ensure the quality is where you need it to be.

Release: We pride ourselves on speed and quality. Got a deadline you need to meet for your product to go out to the world? Our services can deliver as fast as 1 day. With average turn around times as follows.

Injection Moulding - 1-15+ days
CNC Machining - 1-3+ days (1-6+ days when using anodising)
3D Printing - 1-7+ days

Support and Scale: Check out our injection moulding on-demand service. Unlimited mould life, lower piece part price, extensive quality documentation and parts at scale.

What Quality Measures do Protolabs have in place?

expand_less expand_more

Apart from our ISO 9001 Certificate we have many ways at Protolabs to ensure you receive the best quality parts.

It starts with our design for manufacturability analysis software, which not only tells you whether we can produce your part or not. It also highlights and advises of any potential issues or problem areas on your part such as, thin and thick walls or material left behind.

Design support from our service engineering experts and process specialists. Work directly with injection moulding applications engineers to improve the mouldability of your design. As if you have your own injection moulding consultant team. In some instances we can provide PPR (Protolabs Proposed Revisions) a second CAD model with advised changes already made. The revised model can be used immediately or transferred to the original model.

Scientific Moulding for helping to ensure repeatable part function. Also known as Decoupled moulding and intelligent moulding. We develop, optimise and document the ideal set up process for each injection moulding project so that the same process and parameters are followed for each and every single run of a mould (whether it be a run the next day or several months later). Any and all modifications are documented to provide traceability across the moulding runs.

Critical to Quality (CTQ) Capability Report. This allows you to identify up to five critical features or dimensions of importantce to your part functionality and performance. This service is included in all on-demand (ODM) orders. You will receive both a first article inspection report and a 30-piece capability report. We also offer GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing) features as part of the process.

We use Coordinate-Measuring Machines (CMM), calipers and pin gauges as standard. We've applied patented automation technology to our CMMs to enable in-process inspection with no additional cost or lead time.

PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) - a quality inspection process used to verify that a production process can reliably produce a quality part, repeatedly.

For 3D Printing

Powder Analysis and Material Traceability - analysis of powder and traceability of supplier to meet your production  requirements. Includes analysis of chemistry and particle size and distribution analysis.

Mechanical Testing - certified testing to confirm mechanical requirements on production parts. Includes tensile, hardness testing, fatigue and vibration.

Quality Inspection & Reports - validating part geometry and evaluating material structure for quality reporting. Includes, dimensional inspections with report, FAI (first article inspection), CMM optical and CT scanning, X-ray, surface roughness and porosity analysis and certificate of compliance with parts tracking.

We also have the following certifications

ISO 13485 (medical) (DMLS)

DNV Qualification of Manufacture Certification for Inconel 78 (DMLS)


ISO 14001

ISO 45001

Declaration of Conformity - ROHS & REACH 3D printing

Can Protolabs support with prototyping?

expand_less expand_more

Rapid prototyping is our bread and butter. We offer prototyping with all three of our manufacturing services, injection moulding, CNC machining and 3D printing. One thing we should make clear is that with all of our services there is NO minimum order quantity. We can help you with 1, 100, 1000. Whatever your requirements, we can support.

Our 3D printing service is especially useful for prototyping for functional testing. Making it easier for you to produce rapid iterations before validating and moving on to production tooling. When it comes to rapid prototyping you probably have speed, cost, aesthetics or characteristics in mind, 3D printing can help produce prototypes that hit one or more of these categories before you progress on to more costly tooling.

Can Protolabs support with production runs?

expand_less expand_more

Check out our on-demand production service, available through injection moulding. Once your product is fully designed, validated and tested you may want to start moving on to production. We can support with that, our on-demand production service is the better choice if you are planning to produce in larger numbers and/ or ongoing. Confused? our hand chart will explain when best to choose prototyping or production.

How do I design a part manufacturable by Protolabs?

expand_less expand_more

Glad you asked, we have some handy pages that go into depth about our offerings in regards to size specifications, features etc. but we also explain a little more the flags that might crop up on your quote, such as "leftover material", "threading" etc.

Injection Moulding Toolkit

CNC Machining Toolkit

3D Printing Toolkit


What materials are available at Protolabs?

expand_less expand_more

We have 100+ materials in our repertoire for your perusal. We also accept customer materials, you simply need to fill in our customer supplied resins form.

Unsure of which material to use to meet your requirements? We have some handy design aids and web pages that may help, listed below. If not, please do feel free to reach out to our application engineers on +44 (0) 1952 683047 or email [email protected]

Materials Matter Guide

Material Alternatives for Plastics Guide

3D Printed Materials Guide

Plastics that meet Medical Needs

Impact Resistant Plastics

Selecting a Material for Stereolithography

UV Resistant Plastics

How to Choose a Heat Resistant Plastic

Picking the Best Material for CNC Machining

Switching from Metal to Plastic

Thermoplastic vs. Thermoset

CNC Machining Materials

Selecting the Right Plastic for your Part

Thermoplastic Glass Filling, Colourants, and Other Additives

Finding the Right Corrosion-Resistant Metals

Or you can order one of our handy material selectors straight to your door

Injection Moulding Material Selector

CNC Machining Selector

3D Printing Selector

Why use Aluminium tooling?

expand_less expand_more

At Protolabs we use aluminium for our tools. Apart from being more cost efficient and quicker to produce.

If you use Protolabs for On-Demand Manufacturing, we give you a lifetime guarantee for the moulds so you can use them for mass-volume production.  There are high-volume applications where it is better to choose our ODM offer using aerospace-grade aluminium tooling and others where it makes more sense to opt for steel moulds – speak to our application engineers for advice.

Does Protolabs recommend any design firms? Or anyone who can provide a CAD?

expand_less expand_more

If it is a CAD you need, we highly recommend RS Components, who we have worked with frequently and have software called DesignSpark, which can be used to support your CAD requirements?

If you need design firm support we work alongside many design firms, if you email ([email protected]) or phone up (+44 (0) 1952 683047) and speak to one of our sales people, we can try and recommend a firm suitable for your industry.

aerospace industry get a quote background of machined cog wheels

Free mouldability analysis within hours

Get A Quote