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Digital manufacturing guides

Comprehensive knowledge and best practices to get the most out of the manufacturing technologies we use at Hubs. Everything you need to know about 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding and sheet metal fabrication.

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  • Read our complete guides on manufacturing for prototyping, production and legacy part sourcing.
  • Cut costs and lead times with expert design advice from Hubs engineers.
  • Learn the mechanics behind 3D printers, 3- to 5-axis CNC machines, injection molding instalations and sheet metal fabricaton technologies.
  • Explore engineering materials and surface finishing methodologies.
  • Get hands-on guidance based on over ten years sourcing six million custom parts and counting.
Over 6 million parts delivered to 35,000+ companies
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Produce better parts with our in-depth guides



We have always been (and continue to be) committed to delivering the best service possible to our customers. While this often means producing the best quality product, assisting customers to ensure their part is well prepared for a successful production, before the order is placed, is equally important.

The following guides are resources written by us from years of experience to help you design effectively for production.


3D Printing guide
The Complete Engineering Guide
Learn all you need to know about 3D printing in 30 minutes or less. Whether you are just getting started or you’re an experienced engineer, you’ll find this guide packed with useful tips and information - updated for 2020.
CNC Machining
The Complete Engineering Guide
Learn all you need to know about CNC machining in 25 minutes or less. Whether you are an experienced design engineer or just getting started with CNC, this guide is for you.
Injection molding
The manufacturing & design guide
In this guide you'll find everything you need to know about injection molding. Master the technology's basic principles and learn actionable design tips fast that will save you time and cut costs.
Sheet metal fabrication
The manufacturing & design guide
Learn how to effectively design sheet metal parts. This guide starts with the basics and moves toward design best practices and advice on material selection, finishings and fastenings, with a focus on two sheet metal fabrication processes: bending and laser cutting.
Metal 3D printing
Additive technologies compared
Metal 3D printing is currently on the rise. This guide will show you how to get the most out of Metal Additive Manufacturing. Get a complete overview of today's metal 3D printing landscape, master its unique benefits & limitations & learn when and how to use the three most popular metal 3D printing technologies: DMLS/SLM, Binder Jetting and Metal Extrusion.

More resources for engineers

3D printed Injection Molds: Materials Compared

3D printed injection molds: Materials compared

We compare critically two industrial 3D printing materials used for low-run injection mold manufacturing.

Read article
3D Printing for Grips, Jigs and Fixtures

How 3D printing grips, jigs and fixtures keeps manufacturing costs down

What are grips, jigs and fixtures and can you 3D print them? Learn the basics of grips, jigs and fixtures and how 3D printing these tools helps reduce manufacturing costs while ramping up the speed.

Read article
3D Printing STL files: A step-by-step guide

3D printing STL files: A step-by-step guide

Learn how to avoid low quality 3D prints or unnecessarily large files by exporting your STL file in the correct resolution.

Read article
3D Printing vs. CNC machining

3D printing vs. CNC machining: Which is better for prototyping and end-use parts?

Is 3D printing or CNC machining better for your custom part applications? Learn the practical differences between CNC machining and 3D printing and how to select the right technology for manufacturing prototypes, end-use parts and everything in between.

Read article
How to design parts for Metal 3D printing

How to design parts for metal 3D printing

A comprehensive guide for metal 3D printing covering the printing process, design specifications, material options and technology limitations.

Read article
Models printed in SLA, FDM and SLS

How much does 3D printing cost? Tips for reducing your manufacturing costs

Is 3D printing the most cost-effective option and how can you keep your costs down? Explore all the factors that determine the price of 3D printing, including how to reduce the cost of printing your custom parts.

Read article
Fillauer Running Blade

Medical device manufacturing: Best practices, applications and regulations

Learn about the processes used to manufacture medical devices and which applications they're relevant to, as well as best practices to follow when designing medical devices.

Read article
How to design parts for CNC machining

How to design parts for CNC machining

In this complete guide to designing for CNC machining, we've compiled basic & advanced design practices and tips to help you achieve the best results for your custom parts.

Read article
How to design parts for Injection Molding

How do you design parts for injection molding?

How do you optimize part design for injection molding? This complete guide to designing for injection molding provides basic and advanced design tips, including guidelines for creating snap-fits, living hinges and undercuts, and accounting for optimial surface finishes.

Read article
Jewelry 3D Printing Applications

Jewelry 3D printing applications

This article discusses how 3D printing is being used to produce high detail, custom jewelry through investment casting and direct metal printing.

Read article
cnc-surface finish-as-machined-1

What are the different types of threads for manufacturing? Practical tips for engineers

What are the different types of threads for manufacturing? In this article, learn how to correctly design threads to reduce lead times and cost for your next CNC machining production run.

Read article
Heat treatments for CNC machined parts

What is heat treatment and how does it improve CNC-machined parts?

What are the different types of heat treatment and how do they affect CNC-machined parts? This article explores how heat treatments can be applied to many metal alloys to drastically improve key physical properties like hardness, strength and machinability.

Read article
3D printed Injection Molds: Materials Compared

3D printed injection molds: Materials compared

We compare critically two industrial 3D printing materials used for low-run injection mold manufacturing.

Read article
3D Printing for Grips, Jigs and Fixtures

How 3D printing grips, jigs and fixtures keeps manufacturing costs down

What are grips, jigs and fixtures and can you 3D print them? Learn the basics of grips, jigs and fixtures and how 3D printing these tools helps reduce manufacturing costs while ramping up the speed.

Read article
3D Printing STL files: A step-by-step guide

3D printing STL files: A step-by-step guide

Learn how to avoid low quality 3D prints or unnecessarily large files by exporting your STL file in the correct resolution.

Read article
3D Printing vs. CNC machining

3D printing vs. CNC machining: Which is better for prototyping and end-use parts?

Is 3D printing or CNC machining better for your custom part applications? Learn the practical differences between CNC machining and 3D printing and how to select the right technology for manufacturing prototypes, end-use parts and everything in between.

Read article
How to design parts for Metal 3D printing

How to design parts for metal 3D printing

A comprehensive guide for metal 3D printing covering the printing process, design specifications, material options and technology limitations.

Read article
Models printed in SLA, FDM and SLS

How much does 3D printing cost? Tips for reducing your manufacturing costs

Is 3D printing the most cost-effective option and how can you keep your costs down? Explore all the factors that determine the price of 3D printing, including how to reduce the cost of printing your custom parts.

Read article
Fillauer Running Blade

Medical device manufacturing: Best practices, applications and regulations

Learn about the processes used to manufacture medical devices and which applications they're relevant to, as well as best practices to follow when designing medical devices.

Read article
How to design parts for CNC machining

How to design parts for CNC machining

In this complete guide to designing for CNC machining, we've compiled basic & advanced design practices and tips to help you achieve the best results for your custom parts.

Read article
How to design parts for Injection Molding

How do you design parts for injection molding?

How do you optimize part design for injection molding? This complete guide to designing for injection molding provides basic and advanced design tips, including guidelines for creating snap-fits, living hinges and undercuts, and accounting for optimial surface finishes.

Read article
Jewelry 3D Printing Applications

Jewelry 3D printing applications

This article discusses how 3D printing is being used to produce high detail, custom jewelry through investment casting and direct metal printing.

Read article
cnc-surface finish-as-machined-1

What are the different types of threads for manufacturing? Practical tips for engineers

What are the different types of threads for manufacturing? In this article, learn how to correctly design threads to reduce lead times and cost for your next CNC machining production run.

Read article
Heat treatments for CNC machined parts

What is heat treatment and how does it improve CNC-machined parts?

What are the different types of heat treatment and how do they affect CNC-machined parts? This article explores how heat treatments can be applied to many metal alloys to drastically improve key physical properties like hardness, strength and machinability.

Read article

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