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Avoiding Sheet Metal DFM Issues
Exploring our automated sheet metal DFM advisories to improve your parts.
Hole Design for Fast, Cost-Effective Sheet Metal Parts
Improve hole designs in your sheet metal parts with guidance from our automated DFM advisories.
How Much Does 3D Printing Cost? Key Factors to Consider.
Exploring the multiple ways you can lower your part costs at all stages when developing parts.
Resin 3D Printing: Use Cases and Key Benefits
Resin 3D printing describes a subset of manufacturing technologies that additively build parts by curing liquid resin.
Manufacturing Considerations for Plastic Prototyping
Discover if CNC machining, 3D printing, or injection molding is best for your plastic prototype.
Combining Rigid and Flexible Materials with PolyJet Overmolding
Need 3D printing's geometries but think overmolding is just for injection molding? Try using PolyJet!
Using Lattice Structures in 3D Printing for Strength and Lightweighting
Using a lattice interior can help lightweight parts while improving strength and durability.
How to Solve for Size Constraints, Small Gaps, and Thin Walls in 3D-Printed Parts
3DP design for manufacturing (DFM) advisories help avoid production delays and wasted iterations.
Why You Should Use Vapor Smoothing on 3D-Printed Parts
Vapor smoothing uses chemical vapors to smooth and remove surface impurities from 3D-printed parts.
Solving Wall Thickness Issues in Molded Parts
Address design change requests related to slot widths and wall thicknesses for molded parts.
Top Corrosion-Resistant Metals
Parts turning to piles of rust? These materials can help you avoid the scourge of corrosion.
Plastics that Meet Medical Needs
Safety and longevity are paramount with plastic medical parts. Which work best for your application?
Common Impact-Resistant Plastics
Need long-lasting plastic parts? Take a dive into the world of impact-resistant plastics.
UV Resistant Plastics
This design tip evaluates UV-resistant plastic options available for injection molding, 3D printing, and CNC machining.
Glass Transition Temperature of Polymers
Glass transition temperature (Tg) affects moldability, strength, elasticity, transparency, and more.
Understanding Powder Bed Fusion Technology
Powder bed fusion (PBF) is a 3D printing technology that sinters (fuses) powder particles together.
How to Choose a Heat Resistant Plastic
Melted plastic parts stink. Find out what materials will help you avoid this issue in your products.
Mold Texture Standards and Finishes
Explore your options, including standard and Mold-Tech finishes, for your plastic molded parts.
Sheet Metal Bend Radius Guidelines
K-factor, bend allowance/deduction, & outside setbacks all affect sheet metal design. Find out more!
Fine-Tuning Tolerances for CNC Machined Parts
Standard machining tolerances can maximize quality, reduce cost, & simplify designs for your parts.
How to Design STL Files for 3D Printing in Your CAD Program
Try these tips to optimize your design for STL—the common CAD format used in additive manufacturing
Plating and Other Finishing Options for CNC Machining, Sheet Metal
Check out these machining and sheet metal finishing options to protect parts and improve function.
7 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing 3D-Printed Parts
Improve part design in 3D printing by adhering to minimum feature sizes, avoiding warpage, and more.
Manufacturing Tool Kit for the Aerospace Industry
These four things can improve product development and design for aerospace and defense companies.
11 Ways to Cut Sheet Metal Fabrication Costs
Explore and try these 11 design tactics that can help you save money on sheet metal parts.
Optimizing for Higher-Volume Machining
Get quick-turn machined production parts for less & finishing options from a single-source supplier.
9 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Injection Molded Parts
Navigate these challenges to improve design, shorten production time, reduce costs on molded parts.
How to Design for Nylon 3D Printing
Consider these guidelines when designing for Multi Jet Fusion and selective laser sintering.
A Guide to Medical Parts Manufacturing
Here are eight ways to improve the design, development, and function of medical products and devices.
6 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Machined Parts
We’ve compiled six common machining issues to avoid to help you improve part design and reduce cost.
8 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Sheet Metal Parts
We’ve compiled the most typical sheet metal design issues to help you avoid delays and added costs.
Manufacturing Tool Kit for Consumer Electronics
Improve parts with customization, material choices, iterative prototyping, and digital manufacturing.
CNC Machining Materials
With a universe of metal and plastic options, let your machined parts function determine material.
Create Production Parts with Carbon 3D Printing
Get tips on designing for Carbon, and see how it compares to stereolithography and Multi Jet Fusion.
8 Rules to Convert Solid 3D Designs to Flat Sheet Metal
Designing sheet metal parts requires you to think of them and their features as flat and formable.
A Closer Look at Material Properties
Find out why your material’s mechanical, physical, thermal, & electrical properties can be critical.
Post-Processing for Metal 3D Printing
Improve dimensional accuracy, surface roughness, and mechanical properties on critical metal parts,
Integrating Hardware into Sheet Metal
Consider hardware material, placement, and other specifications to help optimize sheet metal parts.
Balancing CNC Machining and 3D Printing for Metal Parts
Sometimes, combining subtractive and additive manufacturing is great for manufacturing metal parts.
How to Design 3D-Printed Hinges
Consider material, hinge length, & bend degree when designing 3D-printed parts with living hinges.
Using 3D Printing for Complex Jigs and Fixtures
3D printing is a great way to produce irregular, intricate, or smaller jigs and fixtures.
Molded Threads and How to Design Them
Threading for injection-molded plastic parts is complex—these tips can help you navigate the process.
7 Ways to Enhance 3D-Printed Parts with Secondary Ops
Secondary operations for commercial-grade 3D printing can improve form & function of additive parts.
Why Material Science is Key to Part Interaction
Explore how material compatibility, adhesion, friction, and wear affect design of molded parts.
Solving Gating Problems in Injection Molding
Consider three types of gate options and the placement of those gates when designing molded parts.
Using Ejector Pins Properly on Molded Parts
Proper design and position of ejector pins helps minimize their effect on injection-molded parts.
7 Ways to Improve Sheet Metal Parts
Consider material and finishing options along with design elements like bends, reliefs, holes, and slots when developing sheet metal components.
CNC Machining Tips for Complex Parts
Create complex machined parts faster and more efficiently with a few quick tips.
5 Ways to Master Complex Features in Injection-Molded Parts
Create engaging, efficient parts, and reduce costs with these complex injection molding design ideas.
How to Use Multi Jet Fusion for Functional 3D-Printed Parts
Create functional prototypes and end-use production parts with HP’s popular 3D printing technology.
Designing for Overmolding
Overmolding is used to add a second molded part to an existing part, like a grip, handle, or cover.
Building Strength into Parts with Insert Molding
A combination of both plastic and metal, insert molding can add strength and durability to parts.
Optical LSR for Lighting Applications
Optical liquid silicone rubber is replacing glass in many optical and lighting applications.
A Guide to Adding Threading to CNC Machined Parts
Find out how to add threaded features to your CAD and display them in Protolabs’ quoting system.
Industrial 3D Printing for Production Parts
Consider process, material selection, and part geometry when designing functional 3D-printed parts.
Prototyping with PolyJet 3D Printing
Use PolyJet to combine elastomeric and rigid properties when prototyping two-material components.
Exploring Manufacturing Options for Elastomeric Components
Explore your material options for designing elastomeric parts for 3D printing and injection molding.
6 Ways to Cut Costs, Improve Designs with Industrial 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing can reduce prototyping & low-volume production costs, if you know the rules.
3D Printing Fully Functional Parts with Selective Laser Sintering
Selective laser sintering prints durable plastic parts for prototyping and low-volume production.
A Guide to Stereolithography 3D Printing Materials
Compare the array of stereolithography materials with one another & with injection-molded plastics.
An Introduction to Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing
Stereolithography, a staple of 3D printing, can deliver complex prototypes quickly and accurately.
Creating Complex Undercuts with Bumpoffs
Creating Complex Undercuts with Bumpoffs
9 Strategies for Designing Multipart Assemblies
Cost-effective assemblies require flexible yet simple designs and alternative manufacturing tech.
Designing for Liquid Silicone Rubber
Liquid silicone rubber is popular among injection molding materials. Explore optimizing LSR design.
6 Ways to Achieve Undercut Success in Molded Parts
Side-action cams, bumpoffs, inserts, & other options help with undercuts on injection molded parts.
11 Tips to Reduce Injection Molding Costs
Stretch your budget with these injection molding design recommendations. Quick hint: Simplify!
6 Ways to Optimize Part Design for CNC Machining
Consider hole depths, threading, wall thickness, and more to reduce production time and expense.
Bridging the Gap Between Prototyping and Production
Rapid injection molding can reduce time to market during development prior to production tooling.
Thermoplastic vs. Thermoset
Explore and compare how high temperatures affect thermoplastics & thermosets for injection molding.
Selecting the Right Plastic for Your Next Molded Part
Learn the key characteristics of common injection molding materials and recommended applications.
Finding a Balance with Resin Colorants
Injection-molded parts with colorants and pre-compounds requires knowledge of the base material.
Thermoplastic Glass Filling, Colorants, and Other Additives
Glass fibers, colorants, and other additives enhance injection-molded parts, but can affect design.
Improving Part Design with Uniform Wall Thickness
Molded parts can have consistent walls and features with minor adjustments to geometry & materials.
Adding Text into Part Design
Adding text characters to a part? Be aware of design issues that may emerge. Check out this tip!
Injection Molding Surface Finishes
Consider these tips for identifying the right surface finishes when you’re designing molded parts.
Eliminating Side-Actions with Draft
Eliminate side-actions, and save money, on molded parts if your design can support additional draft.
Incorporating Shut-offs in Injection Molding Design
Shut-offs help engineers and developers solve difficult tooling and design issues in molded parts.
Adding Crush Ribs to Molded Parts
Trouble with press-fit part ejection when the fit is tight? Add crush ribs to solve your problem.
Cutting Corners on Injection-Molded Parts
Sharp corners cause trouble when molding plastic parts. Use corner rounding and filleting to help.
Reading Between the Lines: Proper Planning for Parting Lines Can Improve Part Cosmetics and Functionality
With some proper planning for parting lines you can improve both part cosmetics and functionality.
5 Design Considerations for Multi-Cavity Molds
When moving from single- to multi-cavity tooling, parts might behave differently. Plan accordingly.
6 Ways to Simplify Mold Modifications
In some situations, mold modifications can made in the existing mold, saving time and money.
How to Plan for Design Changes Without Breaking the Bank
Making modifications and prototyping go hand-in-hand. Here are some ways to save time and money.
Creating self-mating parts in injection molding design
Designing one part that mates to its symmetrical self has benefits, as shown in this design tip.
Injection Molding for Optical Applications
Injection molding can be useful for prototyping optical components but there are a few caveats.
Designing Living Hinges that Fold Flat
Living hinges—like the flip-top on a ketchup bottle or weekly pillbox—can be challenging to mold.
How to Leverage Low-Volume Injection Molding
Use on-demand manufacturing to reduce costs, provide critical inspections, & tame demand volatility.
Minimizing Knit Lines
Learn how to improve your molded part’s appearance and function by avoiding unsightly knit lines.
Knit Lines and How to Avoid Them
When injection molding parts, knit lines may be no problem, or can cause a serious structural issue.
Gate Considerations to Improve Moldability
Consider gate type and location in molded part designs as it could affect quality and moldability.
Creating Channels in Part Design
Check out these four ways to create channels, tunnels, & holes in your injection-molded part design.
Draft Angle Guidelines for Injection Molding
Apply proper draft early and often to injection-molded parts to save production time and money.
Injection Molding Basics
Find out how draft, radii, wall thickness and other design factors improve part manufacturability.
Cosmetic Defects in Injection Molding and How to Avoid Them
Improve the appearance & performance of injection-molded parts by eliminating cosmetic issues early.
Conquering Complexities: Mold-Making Techniques Make Complicated Features Possible
Designs for molded parts sometimes require complex features. These mold-making techniques can help.
Designing Effective Clips for Molded Parts
Well-designed clips on parts handle stress with ease and fully recover after each deflection.
Using Side-Actions in Molding Design
If you design molded parts that must include undercuts, you need to know about side-actions.
Plastic Boss Design on Molded Parts
A boss is a raised feature, and its design depends on function. Size is critical to avoid sink.
How to Choose Core and Cavity Placement for Injection Molding
Designing molded parts requires that parts stay in the mold half containing the ejector system.
Reinforce Parts With Support Features and Material Selection
Designers build strength into part designs by using support features and choosing the right material.
Turning to Lathe For Parts with Cylindrical Features
For parts with cylindrical features, as it was in the past, your best option may be using a lathe.
How to Reduce CNC Machining Costs
Incorporate these design and material ideas to simplify your CNC machining design, and lower expenses.
Selecting the Best 3D CAD Software for Digital Manufacturing
Enhance your product development and design efforts by using this primer on 3D CAD programs.
Mastering ProtoQuote: Create Better Parts With Our Design Analysis
Protolabs' interactive quote system and free manufacturing analysis help you improve your designs.
How to Use Mold Flow Analysis
Flow analysis helps decide gate placement, locate knit lines, and find areas where gas can get trapped.
How Metal 3D Printing is Redefining Part Design
Direct metal laser sintering brings unprecedented freedom and strategies to traditional part design.
Designing for Direct Metal Laser Sintering
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) reliably produces complex, durable, lightweight metal parts.
Conquering Undercut Design Issues with Side-actions, Inserts, and Shut-offs
Learn how to solve undercut issues during design phase with side-actions, inserts, and shut-offs.
8 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Sheet Metal Parts
We’ve compiled the most typical sheet metal design issues to help you avoid delays and added costs.