Design Aids

Explore our library of free product design aids to learn more about the elements, materials, and surface finishes of parts manufactured with 3D Printing, Injection Moulding or CNC Machining.

Protolabs Exclusive Design Aids

Discover our range of exclusive design aids below to help you achieve design perfection sooner.

Design Cube

Injection Moulding Design Cube

Our Design Cube demonstrates part features that are too thin or too thick, bad bosses, right and wrong ribs and other considerations to be mindful of while designing prototypes for injection moulding.

Injection Moulding For Dummies

Injection Moulding for Dummies

Read about the various techniques used to achieve well-designed injection-moulded parts accompanied by detailed illustrations that can bring clarity to a sometimes complicated process.

Protolabs Material Selectors

Our range of manufacturing material selectors will help you identify the most suitable material for your product based on it's required attributes. Find out more and request yours below.

3dp Material Selector

3DP Material Selector

Our 3DP Material Selector lists specific measurements like resolution, tensile strength and hardness to ensure you have the most suitable material and additive manufacturing process for your part’s application.

Injection Moulding Material Selector

Injection Moulding Material Selector

Our pocket-sized Material Selector is a useful reference guide to help you choose the right material for your project. It details some of the key technical property variations so that you can quickly make an informed decision. 

CNC material selector

CNC Material Selector

Our CNC Material Selector lists specific measurements like heat deflection, tensile strength and hardness to identify the most suitable material for your part’s application, along with its suitability for milling and turning. 

Protolabs Guides for Product Design

Learn more about product design in our detailed guides

design essentials for injection moulding

Design Essentials for Injection Moulding

 Learn about injection moulding materials, surface finish options, incorporating draft, avoiding sink and more. It's a valuable resource that can potentially save you development time and production cost.

design essentials for design to prototype

Design Essentials: Design to Prototype

Learn more about our Design for Manufacturability software, CAD files, application engineers, prototyping processes and selecting your material. It’s a valuable resource that can support you through the early design process.

Protolabs CNC Design Cube


Design for Speed

Following these design guidelines will result in an optimal and economical manufacturing time.


Design for Function

These features show off capabilities, but take longer to machine.

Learn More