3D Printing prototype and production parts

3D Printing Service

Additive manufacturing for precision prototypes and end-use production parts


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Additive manufacturing machines
Product developers served
Parts printed each month

im iconLooking for more than a desktop 3D printer can provide? Need an alternative to your in-house capabilities? Our industrial 3D printing service ensures accuracy and repeatability so you get highly precise parts—every time. At Protolabs, additive manufacturing is designed for functional prototypes, complex designs, and production components in as fast as 1 day.

3D Printing Processes

Metal 3D Printing (DMLS)

3D Printing Part - Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)

Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) uses a fibre laser system that draws onto a surface of atomised metal powder, welding the powder into fully dense metal parts.


Stereolithography (SLA)

3D Printing Part - Stereolithography (SLA)

Stereolithography (SLA) uses an ultraviolet laser that draws on the surface of liquid thermoset resin to create thousands of thin layers until final parts are formed.


Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

3D Printing Part - Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective laser sintering (SLS) uses a CO2 laser that fuses nylon-based powder, layer by layer until final thermoplastic parts are created.


PolyJet & 3D Printed Silicone

3D Printing Part - PolyJet and Silicone

PolyJet uses a jetting process where small droplets of liquid photopolymer are sprayed from multiple jets onto a build platform and cured in layers that form elastomeric parts.


Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)

3D Printing Part - Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)

Multi Jet Fusion selectively applies fusing and detailing agents across a bed of nylon powder, which are fused in thousands of layers by heating elements into a solid functional component.



Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Feedback on Every Quote

Our online 3D printing experience now includes design for additive manufacturing feedback with each quote. This information can be used to improve the quality of your parts and easily identify any hard to print features.

Start your 3d printing project

Compare 3D Printing Processes

New to our 3D printing service and not sure which additive technology is right for your 3D design? Compare the capabilities of each process below to see what fits your application's requirements.


  Materials Max Part Size Min Feature Size Tolerances
Metal 3D Printing

Maraging Steel
Stainless Steel (316L)
Cobalt Chrome

Normal Res: 250mm x 250mm x 300mm
Normal Res AlSi10MG: 300mm x 300mm x 400mm
High Res: 250mm x 250mm x 300mm
Fine Res: 71mm x 71mm x 80mm (Ø100 x 80 mm)

Normal Res: 1.0mm
High Res: 1.0mm
Fine Res: 0.5mm
Typically, for well-designed parts, with a designated build direction, tolerances of +/- 0.1 mm to +/- 0.2 mm + 0.005 mm/mm are expected and achieved
Stereolithography ABS-Like
True Silicone
Normal Res: 736mm x 635mm x 533mm 
Normal Res True Silicone: 70mm x 130mm x 100mm)
High Res: 247mm x 245mm x 254mm
Micro Res: 127mm x 127mm x 50mm (max. suggested 25mm x 25mm x 25mm - with bigger parts, lead time may increase)
Normal Res: 0.25mm for the XY draw plane (0.406mm for the Z build direction)
High Res: 0.13mm for the XY draw plane (0.406mm for the Z build direction)
Micro Res: 0.07mm for the XY draw plane (0.2mm for the Z build direction)
Normal Res: The tolerances for well-designed parts are in the X / Y direction ± 0.1mm plus an additional ± 0.001mm / mm; In Z direction ± 0.13mm plus additional ± 0.001mm / mm
High Res: The tolerances for well-designed parts are in the X / Y direction ± 0.05mm plus an additional ± 0.001mm / mm; In Z direction ± 0.13mm plus additional ± 0.001mm / mm
Micro Res: The tolerances for well-designed parts in the X / Y direction ± 0.05mm plus an additional ± 0.001mm / mm; In Z-direction ± 0.13mm plus plus additional ± 0.001mm / mm
Selective Laser Sintering Nylons

PA 12 Smooth White: 676mm x 367mm x 564mm
PA 12 Vapour Smooth White: 500mm x 300mm x 300mm
PA 12 Glass Filled Smooth White: 292mm x 320mm x 406mm
PA 12 Carbon Filled Smooth Black: 490mm x 490mm x 740mm
PA 12 Flex Pure Black: 490mm x 490mmx 700mm
TPU-88A Pure Black: 330mm x 280mm x 440mm

PA 12 Smooth White: 0.75mm
PA 12 Carbon Filled Smooth Black, PA 12 Flex Pure Black: 0.80mm
PA 12 Glass Filled Smooth White, TPU-88A Pure Black: 1.00mm

Typically, expected tolerances on well-designed parts are +/-0.2mm, plus +0.002mm/mm 

TPU-88A Pure Black: ± 0.3mm plus ± 0.002mm/mm can be expected (for parts bigger than 100 mm in this material, tolerance will be ± 0.3% of nominal dimension)
PA 12 Flex Pure Black: ± 0.35mm plus ± 0.002mm/mm can be expected (or else, for bigger parts, ± 0,2% of nominal dimension)

Multi Jet Fusion


284mm x 380mm x 380mm

Suggested maximum dimensions: 200mm x 200mm x 200mm (higher dimensions may increase warping and dimensional inaccuracy risk)
0.5mm For well-designed parts, tolerances of ±0.25mm (Ultrasint™ TPU-01: ±0.30mm) plus ±0.002mm/mm can typically be achieved. Note that tolerances may change depending on part geometry.

Elastomer (30A to 95A)
3D Printed Silicone (60-65%)

Elastomers: 490mm x 391mm x 200mm
3D Printed Silicone: 297mm x 210mm x 200mm

Minimum free-standing wall or feature is 0.80mm. Holes, channels, and slots less than 0.80mm in diameter/width will not form; maximum length-to-width aspect ratio is 4:1
For well-designed parts, tolerances of ±0.1mm plus ±0.001mm/mm can typically be achieved. Note that tolerances may change depending on part geometry.

Available 3D Printing Materials


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


  • ABS
  • PA (Nylon)
  • Polycarbonate


  • Digital Photopolymer
  • TPU
  • True Silicone
  • 3D Printed Silicone
Black nylon 3D printed part

3DP Sample Quote

Sample Quote

Explore our material feature that lets you compare the cost of 3DP processes, materials, and resolutions.

View Sample Quote

3D Printing with Custom Finish

Custom Finishing for 3D Printed Parts

Looking to boost the strength, clarity, or appearance of your 3D-printed parts? Choose from microfluidic and micro-resolution materials, secondary machining, and custom finishes like painting.

Why Choose Protolabs for 3D Printing?

3DP Machines

Unmatched Quality
Get design feedback from our experienced engineering team that has helped thousands of customers bring their products to market with quality 3D-printed parts. We will also work with you to determine optimal part orientation based on your application's requirements.

Consultative Quoting
Our industry-leading tolerances and surface finish quality stems from a dedicated process engineering and quality team for each 3D printing technology. We also offer a proprietary material called Microfine™, which can build features as small as 0.07mm.

Wide Material Selection
Across our five 3D printing technologies, we use a range of commercial-grade thermoset resins, and thermoplastic and metal powders to 3D print parts that are suitable for various part applications and industries. If required for your parts, we offer a variety of post-process options such as heat treating, secondary machining, plating, painting, and dyeing to further enhance mechanical properties and cosmetics.  

Scale and Production
Our facility is home to more than 180 3D printing machines that produce metal and plastic parts. This means we'll always have capacity when you need parts fast - whether it's a small batch of parts or production level volumes.  

Specialist 3D Printing Facility - Putzbrunn

Our Leading European 3D Printing Facility

Find out what our €19m investment in a purpose-built 3D printing facility means for your next project.

Bringing together all the latest additive manufacturing technology and our team of experts into one building to help make your next design a reality.

Learn More

What is 3D printing? Polyjet machines

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a term used to describe a number of additive manufacturing technologies that produce parts one layer at a time from a 3D digital model. Some 3D printing machines will extrude a filament to create a parts, while others use lasers to sinter or cure raw materials like metal or plastic powders and liquid resins. There are a variety of 3D printing technologies that differ in terms of materials, surface finish quality, cost, and quantity to name a few.

Advantages of 3D Printing - SLA Process Parts

What are the advantages of 3D Printing?

Building parts layer-by-layer brings about many benefits that open up design possibilities that were previously unachievable through traditional processes like injection moulding, machining, or casting.

  • Complex, organic geometries with limited impact on part cost
  • Consolidation of multi-component assembly into a single part
  • No upfront tooling costs
  • Fast production for parts within 24 hours
  • Internal features for advanced heat transfer and flow applications

Metal 3D printed engine part

What is 3D printing used for?
Common 3D Printing Applications

Additive manufacturing can be leveraged for both rapid prototyping and production in aerospacemedical, automotive, and other large industry sectors. Examples of typical parts, include:

  • Form and fit prototypes
  • Housings and enclosures
  • Medical devices
  • Snap fits
  • Jigs and fixtures
  • Heat exchangers and heat sinks
  • Engine components
  • Fuel injectors
  • Surgical instrumentation
  • Prostheses and Orthoses

3D Printed FDM parts

Looking for Quality Prototypes 3D Printed with FDM?

Our digital network of manufacturers at Hubs can help. Choose from a wide material and color selection for repeatable additive parts with FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printing. Get an instant quote for FDM parts within days. 

Try Digital Network at Hubs

Vapour smoothing

Enhanced Surface Quality for SLS and MJF Parts

Protolabs has redeveloped our surface quality standards for MJF and SLS produced parts, delivering a best-in-class finish through flexible surface roughness options. Now you can select the appropriate surface finish that your part requires, with the quality service that you expect from Protolabs.  

Learn More

3D Printing Design Guides

DMLS 3D printed inside rocket part

3D Printing FAQs

3D Printing Resources to aid design and manufacturing

3D Printing Resources

View our comprehensive list of 3D printing resources, including guides, videos, podcasts, case studies and more


Additional Links and Resources