Our ODM service delivers more options and greater flexibility

By Matt Hatch

Our brand new online quoting platform is not the only exciting launch from Protolabs recently. We are also now offering on-demand manufacturing (ODM) as well as prototyping. This means that we can now support you further through your product life-cycle journey.

When it comes to production runs, there aren’t many options out there for low-volume manufacturing. Traditional manufacturers tend to have minimum order quantities and require you to purchase in large volumes, they may also work with multiple vendors. This is likely to add both cost and time to your part procurement.

Protolabs Europe has now tailored its offering to address the needs of both prototyping and ODM. The new ODM service offers customers more competitive part pricing along with guaranteed lifetime mould maintenance and ownership.

Why use ODM?

  • Bridge Tooling
    • Implement cost-effective aluminium tooling before committing to a capital expense with steel tooling
    • Minimise the “cost of waiting” for a steel tool and get to market quicker (have an aluminium tool made in a matter of days)
  • Manage Supply Chain Emergencies
    • Minimise downtime and reduce the risk of stock-outs when large-scale production tools are being repaired
    • Mitigate the risk of domestic and global shipping delays by having a reliable, on-demand supplier of low-volume parts
    • Manage increases in demand volatility without going on back-order
  • Consider End-of-Life Planning
    • Manage part obsolescence more effectively by ordering only the parts you need
    • Mitigate the risk of inventory write-offs by ordering parts in lower quantities

Which service should you use? Prototyping? Or On-Demand Manufacturing?

How to select ODM in the new online quoting platform

When requesting your injection moulding quote you’ll be given the choice of three options in regard to the mould life of your tooling – limited, unlimited or I’ll decide later. When choosing the latter our intuitive platform will work with you to help identify the best tooling option.
By selecting the “unlimited” tooling option you will follow our on-demand production route. From here you will select sample quantity and identify whether you will need a single-cavity mould or multi-cavity (currently up to 8 cavities).


To help you decide between our prototyping and ODM service options we have created the all-new price curve tool, which will compare one option against the other. This means you will have full visibility and total cost ownership on moulded parts througout the product life cycle. You will find that as you adjust the total quantity, you will see in real-time the impact on your cost. Also, because of the cost saving at higher volumes, ODM is suitable for ramping up before moving to full production volumes (outside of Protolabs). On top of this, a range of secondary services help provide a more comprehensive ODM service, including digital and conventional inspection reports.

Whether you need a prototype or low-volume production we can support you to ensure you get exactly the result you are looking for. To discuss your requirements further please contact us on +44 (0) 1952 683047 or email [email protected] we look forwards to learning more about your project.