CNC Machining Prototyping to Production

Choosing the Right Machining Service for your Product Development Needs

Where does CNC machining fit in your product life cycle journey?

Our machining capabilities are unmatched. Our in-house, US-based factory provides fast and reliable local solutions, and our network of global and domestic manufacturing partners expands our machining capabilities with competitive pricing at higher volumes and tighter tolerances with greater material and finishing selections for end-use parts.

No matter what stage you’re at with your project—from initial iteration to production—we’ve got you covered. Let us help you find the right solution for your next machining project.


CNC Machining Automated In-house Machining Traditional In-house Machining Traditional Machining via Global Network
Lead Time 1-7 days 4-15 days 9-20+ days
Tolerances +/-0.005 in. Capable of tighter tolerances depending on part geometry Linear tolerances as tight as +/-0.002 in. adhering to ISO 2768 standard Auto-quoted linear tolerances as tight as +/-0.001 in. adhering to ISO 2768 standard. Tighter tolerances available upon review.
Compliance ISO 9001, AS9100, ITAR ISO 9001, AS9100, ITAR ISO 9001, AS9100, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, ISO TS16949
Design Guidelines Milling, Turning Precision machining Up to: 78 x 59 x 7.8 in. Larger envelopes upon review. Milling: Turning


40+ metals and plastics 40+ metals and plastics 50+ metals and plastics

Standard selection of UNF, UNC, and metric machining threads for machining. Threading will accommodate user-procured and user-installed hardware. Protolabs does not provide or install hardware. 

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Selection of UNF, UNC, metric, and SM1, SM2, SM3 lens threads for  machining. Can accommodate coil insert, key insert, and Heli-Coil hardware installation. 

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Standard thread tapping and milling. Can accommodate coil insert, key insert, and Heli-Coil hardware installation. 
Installed Hardware No install Upon review of drawing Upon review of drawing
Secondary Operations DIR, Anodizing and chromate plating on aluminum parts, inspection available Extensive finishing and post-processing services including anodizing, chromate plating, powder coating, AS9200 inspection, FAIs and Certificate of Conformance (CoC) documentation.  Anodizing, chromate plating, bead blasting, EDM, EMA, and additional finishes available upon review. 
Product Life Cycle Ideation and Prototyping Validation and Testing End-use and Production
Use Cases  Fast and reliable low-volume prototyping service.  Precision machining in-house factory with additional finishes, tighter tolerances, inspectional capabilities and hardware installation are needed.  Complete end-use parts at economic prices to scale. 
Required Upload 3D CAD only  3D CAD and 2D drawing (optional) 3D CAD and 2D drawings (optional)

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Still not sure which machining solution is right for your next project? Please call us at 877-479-3680 and we'll put you in contact with your account representative. 

Leveraging Digital Manufacturing


Increase Speed to Market

  • Quotes within hours, parts within days.
  • Short manufacturing turnaround times support multiple design iterations. 
  • Development is accelerated and products are launched to market faster than before. 

Design Better Parts

  • Automated design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis provided free in every machining and molding quote, highlighting potential issues and providing immediate solutions. 
  • Application engineers available to discuss design challenges and offer support. 
  • Extensive library of online resources including guidelines, tips, and whitepapers. 

Reduce Risk

  • Cost-effective aluminum tooling validates design before capital investment in steel tooling is made. 
  • Manufacturing scale to relieve capacity issues and subsequent production delays for companies that are producing parts in-house. 
  • On-demand production to effectively manage demand volatility and inventory costs.