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A coffee date between our injection molding capabilities and Protolabs’ speed

By leveraging the speed of the Protolabs offering with the expanded capabilities of the network, Philips, the iconic consumer electronics brand improved their coffee machines.

The breakdown


Philips Domestic Appliances


Amsterdam, Netherlands


Injection molding



Surface finish

A-2 | High Gloss Finish, 3000 Grit Diamond Buff (Ra 0.025-0.050)


Gear for the system that changes from coffee to cappuccino


Ordered on January and delivered March


Consumer electronics

Why Protolabs Network?

Able to provide steel tooling for injection molding to produce small gears

The result

A more efficient and streamlined product development process

The challenge

Philips Domestic Appliances required a mix of quick-turn plastic parts and more complex steel-tooled parts for a product pre-development project. 

How Protolabs Network & Protolabs helped

For more than a decade, engineers at Philips Domestic Appliances have relied on Protolabs for high-quality injection molded plastic parts. “Protolabs has a good portal and very fast quotes,” says Mark Elzinga, Lead Engineer at Philips Domestic Appliances. “You get really amazingly fast quotes.” 

A recent project to develop a more affordable version of their fully automatic coffee maker required steel tooling for a complex part. Protolabs was able to leverage its manufacturing network to produce the complex tooling and subsequent gears.

“We were already working with Protolabs and then went to Protolabs Network when there was a limitation around the steel tooling,” explains Elzinga. Thanks to a global network of technologically advanced manufacturing partners, Protolabs Network can manufacture the most complex steel-tooled parts with almost limitless capacity and was able to produce the gear." 

“One of the components is quite a difficult one to produce,” Elzinga says of the project. “You can probably make it from injection molding but for now we simply machined the parts. We used Protolabs Network because they can put in the effort to look in the network to see if they have a solution for this sample.”

The perfect blend

By working with the entire expand Protolabs offering, including the Network, Philips Domestic Appliances could easily incorporate both fast prototypes and more complex steel-tooled parts into their pre-development workflow.

“Protolabs is perfect for getting plastic parts rapidly but with Protolabs Network there is the possibility to get both prototypes and production quotes,” says Elzinga.

“We used Protolabs Network last year for injection molding and we now have a quotation for a plastic machined part. It was a good price too.” The two solutions together helped Elzinga and his team test and iterate on their product quickly. 

Do you have a project requiring diverse manufacturing services and ultra-fast turnarounds? We can help. Use Protolabs’ quick-turn service or get an instant quote from Protolabs Network for parts with complex features and finishing requirements, volume pricing, and tighter tolerances.