Protolabs Q&A: CNC Machining

Your masterclass in product design and development


Protolabs’ Insight podcast series

Our Insight podcast series is aimed to help you design better parts for digital manufacturing.

We will regularly share with you podcasts packed with useful tips that will hopefully save you some time and money, from Q&A sessions to design tips.


In this episode we answer your questions on CNC Machining with Marco Tonnarelli, an Application Engineer at Protolabs and our CNC Machining Champion for Europe. See below for a list of questions answered in this session:
  • Do you offer transparent materials?
  • For a few units, ideally 1 piece, what is the most valuable process, CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
  • What is the value of using CNC Machining over other processes?
  • What level of inspection do you apply to your machined parts?
  • Can we get coloured parts?
  • How do you decide which process to use, milling or lathe?
  • Am I able to provide my own material to be machined?
  • Can you rework a part that has features not aligned in 3-axis?
  • What is the difference between 3 and 5 axis?
  • Do you use dovetail cutters?
  • What post-processes do Protolabs offer?
  • What is the material range for CNC machining, in particular, are there any suitable for aerospace and automotive?
  • How can I reduce cost through part design?