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Here are some things you might be wondering about using Protolabs Network and how we work. For anything else, feel free to contact us.

How do you source orders?

Protolabs Network has a network of more than 300 specialized manufacturing partners. Our AI-powered quote builder matches your request with a manufacturer that can fulfill it using a competitive auction model. This means you always get a fair price, and we can quote 98% of parts uploaded instantly. 

For custom requests, or if your part requires a manual review, we contact suppliers in our network and get back to you within 48 hours.

All of the manufacturers in our network are thoroughly vetted and we continuously assess their performance, so that you can always rely on the quality of the finished part.

How do you control quality? 

The Protolabs Network Standard is our centralized quality management system that outlines quality standards for every process, material, finish and more. All orders are thoroughly inspected on-site by the manufacturing partner according to our guidelines. 

Many orders also undergo a secondary inspection at our quality control facilities in Amsterdam or Chicago, depending on the complexity of the part and the manufacturing location. 

How much does injection molding cost?

There are many factors that determine the cost of injection molding your custom parts. The three main expenses are tooling, materials and production. Find out how to reduce your manufacturing costs in our injection molding guide.

How quickly can I reorder injection molded parts?

In general, we have the RFQ ready within 24 hours. It takes two days to set up the mold and order and process the materials, and one day for packing and sending the order out to be shipped. The number of the parts you want to reorder will determine the number of days required for manufacturing.

Who owns the mold used in my injection molding project?

As the customer, you retain ownership of all custom tooling developed for your project, however, any reusable proprietary components developed by the manufacturing partner (MP) will become the MP’s property. All custom tooling will remain at the MP’s facility for a minimum of two years unless otherwise agreed. If the tooling is inactive after two years, the MP may contact Protolabs Network to determine if the tool must be retained for longer. Protolabs Network will then contact you to make further arrangements. 

What happens if an injection molding partner leaves our network?

Whenever a manufacturing partner leaves our network, we carry the cost of transferring all molds to another MP in the network, ensuring that your parts get delivered on time.

What certifications does Protolabs Network have? 

Protolabs Network is Protolabs Network is ISO 9001 certified (download our certificate) and our manufacturing partners hold additional certifications, including:

  • ISO 9001

  • AS 9100

  • ISO 13485

  • ISO 14001

  • ISO TS16949

Comprehensive quality documentation such as Material Data Sheets and inspection reports are available on request.

What are your manufacturing standards and standard tolerances?

Refer to this overview of our quality standards for 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding, which covers cosmetic standards, dimensional accuracy, threads and tolerances. 

If you require a tighter tolerance or a precise specification beyond these standards, our team can advise on custom requests. Reach out to for details. 

Where do you ship to? 

We ship to many different destinations all over the world, with the exception of these countries. Shipping fees and estimated delivery times are displayed in the quote builder.

What does your network look like? 

We have more than 250 specialized manufacturing partners located in North America, Europe and Asia. They are hand-selected for their expertise and ability to meet our high quality standards. When you upload a part to Protolabs Network, our algorithm automatically finds production capacity when you need it. All you need to do is select your preferred lead time. 

CNC machining orders can be sourced locally or globally for customers in the US and EU. Local manufacturing eliminates the need for your order to clear customs. 

My company is sales tax exempt, what can I do?

If you are a tax-exempt organization, please submit your tax exemption documentation by filling in this form and we will automatically remove sales tax from your applicable orders. Please make sure that you provide the email address that you use to place your Protolabs Network orders.

Is Protolabs Network ITAR certified?

While we are a registered American company, Protolabs Network is not ITAR certified. You can take a look at our available certifications

How do you protect my IP?

Confidentiality from beginning to end

We ensure confidentiality across the entirety of your order. You can find our confidentiality terms in our General Terms of Sale. If you would like some additional reassurance, we would be happy to send you our Non-Disclosure Agreement, which can be digitally signed via a secure link. Please contact your Account Manager or to request our NDA.

To produce your order, Protolabs Network operates with a global network of Manufacturing Partners. All of our Partners must go through a strict onboarding process, which includes signing up to contractual obligations to safeguard your data. Confidential means confidential from beginning to end.

Encryption & Server Location

We use secure (encrypted) connections for all our customer and manufacturing partner
interactions i.e. when any files are transferred.

Our production servers are located in Europe; all digital models and drawings are stored on AWS servers.

Anonymization of technical drawings

All technical drawings are automatically anonymized before going into production to further decrease the amount personal data exposed to our manufacturing partners.

Do you offer First Article Inspection?

We offer First Article Inspection (FAI) for CNC machining upon request. You can request FAI on your order by contacting your account manager or

You can use FAI to validate parts compliance to specification before "Mass Production". You will receive a subset of parts with a set of FAI documentation for approval before continuing with full production of the order. Upon approval you should fill in the parts acceptance letter and email it to

To proceed with FAI we need to know the following:

  • Critical dimensions (indicated by a customer on technical drawings)

  • Batch size (usually set by a standard)

  • Parts to be inspected

FAI includes the following documents:

  • Full Dimensional Report - done via CMM machine

  • Document certifying material compliance

    • Metals: Material Test Report

    • Plastics: Material Certificates

  • Production flowchart

  • Production Control Plan

  • Parts acceptance letter

We offer FAI free of charge for orders over $10,000, and at $250/line item for metals and $150 for plastics for any orders of lower value. We also require 15 working day addition to the lead time.


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