Better parts, faster with Hubs & Protolabs
Combine the speed of Protolabs with the advanced capabilities of Hubs to get the most out of digital manufacturing
Automated factories and network capabilities
In 2021, Protolabs acquired Hubs to create the world’s most comprehensive online manufacturing platform. Whether you need local speed for prototyping or cost-competitive solutions for production at scale, our shared services cover all of your manufacturing needs.
Protolabs is the leader in digital manufacturing since 1999, born from the idea of automating traditional manufacturing processes so that injection molded plastic parts were easier and faster to produce. It has 12 technology-enabled factories across Europe and the US, which manufacture commercial-grade plastic, metal and liquid silicone parts in as little as 1 day – the fastest lead time in the industry.
Protolabs has now added to its in-house production capabilities by giving customers all the benefits of the Hubs network, too. Their reinvented manufacturing model pairs Protolabs’ own digital factories with Hubs’ distributed supplier network so that engineers have more options. Together, Hubs’ and Protolabs’ combined offering result in more manufacturing capabilities, a greater choice of lead times and volume pricing.
“Our network of manufacturing partners complements our digital factories, allowing us to provide more complex and larger parts. Now we can better support high-requirement manufacturing projects, and our range of material and finishing options has broadened as well,” says Rob Bodor, President and CEO of Protolabs.
While we work with Protolabs on fully integrating your experience, you can already start taking advantage of our different services and expertise.
When to choose Protolabs or Hubs
Protolabs offers lightning-fast manufacturing with automated in-house machines. For geometrically simple, time-sensitive projects, such as quick-turn prototyping and low-volume production, Protolabs is the go-to solution.
Hubs’ digital network of suppliers offers expanded manufacturing capabilities for geometrically complex and cosmetically demanding parts with volume pricing on production orders.
Differences at a glance
|CNC & IM lead times||As fast as 5 days||As fast as 1 day|
|3DP lead time||As fast as 1 day||As fast as 1 day|
|Volume||High-volume with price breaks||Low-volume with price breaks|
|Complex IM geometry||Available||Limited|
|Materials||Wide range of options||Wide range of options|
|Place of production||Manufacturing partner||In-house factory|
Quick-turn parts and complex components with CNC machining
Tighter tolerances. Complex parts. Surface finishing at scale. Get a free, instant quote for up to 1,000 machined parts today with Hubs.
With hundreds of CNC machines, Protolabs’ unmatched in-house digital factories ensure your parts are shipped on time, every single time. The AS9100-certified CNC machining facilities are designed for both rapid prototyping and low-volume production of end-use components.
|Fastest lead times||as fast as 5 days||as fast as 1 day|
|Max. part size (machining)||40 in. (1,000mm)||22 in. x 14 in. x 3.75 in. (559mm x 356mm x 95.3mm)|
|Max. diameter/length (turning)||17 in (431mm) x 39 in (990mm)||3.95 in. (100.33mm) x 9 in. (228.6mm)|
|Tolerances||down to ±0.0008 in. (0.020mm)||down to ± 0.005 in. (0.13mm)|
Rapid prototypes and end-use parts with 3D printing
Choose from a wide material and color selection for repeatable additive parts with 3D printing at Hubs. Get an instant quote and receive FDM parts within days.
Access in-house 3D printing technologies, more than 120 3D printers, and a broad material selection to manufacture and ship parts within days. Choose from several post-processing options to improve cosmetics or enhance mechanical properties.
SLA 3D printing
|Lead times||as fast as 1 day||as fast as 1 day|
|Max. build size SLA*️||5.7 in. x 5.7 in. x 6.8 in. (145 × 145 × 175 mm)||29 in. x 25 in. x 21 in. (736mm x 635mm x 533mm)|
|Dimensional accuracy SLA||± 0.5% with a lower limit of ± 0.15 mm (± 0.006 in)||0.25 in. x 0.25 in (6.35mm x 6.35mm)|
|*️ We also offer FDM, MFJ & SLS. See our full 3D printing capabilities.|
Cost-efficient injection molding from low to high volumes
Get larger, and more complex parts in higher-volume production quantities. For more info on how to start your next project, contact your account manager.
Get affordable, high-quality molded parts and bridge tooling within days. With Protolabs’ free moldability consultation, you can accelerate the design and manufacturing process to get more consistent plastic and elastomeric parts within days. No minimum order quantity and access to aluminum tooling.
|Lead times||as fast as 10 days||as fast as 1 day|
|Dimensional accuracy||± 0.5% with a lower limit of 0.0196 in. (± 0.5mm)||0.25 in. x 0.25 in (6.35mm x 6.35mm)|
Production-grade sheet metal fabrication
Get small, production-grade sheet metal parts for demo prototypes, pre-production validation and small run series. Start sourcing custom sheet metal parts with high degrees of craftsmanship from Hubs.
Access infinite capacity and an easy-to-use online quoting system, ensuring on-time shipment every time—whether you need a single part or 500 parts. Optimize part design with Protolabs’ team of mechanical engineers and online resources. Choose from finish options including welding, hardware insertion, powder coating, plating and more.
Sheet metal fabrication
|Lead times||as fast as 5 days||as fast as 1 day|
|Max. part size||39.37 x 59.05 x 0.394 in (1000 x 1500 x 10 mm)||39 in. x 47 in. (990.6mm x 1,193.8mm)|
When will the Protolabs and Hubs services be integrated?
You can already access Hubs’ service from the Protolabs quote builder and your account manager can split orders depending on which service matches your specific needs. We’ll share more information as we continue to integrate the two companies, so stay tuned by signing up to our monthly newsletter.
How do I know whether to use Hubs or Protolabs?
Protolabs is ideal for less complex, time-sensitive projects, offering the fastest turnaround times in the market, as well as ITAR-certified parts. It’s perfect for prototyping and low-volume production. Hubs is best when speed isn’t the main concern and can support full-scale production capabilities. Hubs offers more capabilities, including tighter tolerances, more geometric complexity and additional technologies with many lead-time and pricing options.
Do I need two different accounts to use Protolabs and Hubs?
For now, you will still need a separate log-in for Protolabs’ and Hubs’ quote builders.
How do I know if my part is quoted through Protolabs or Hubs?
While we’re still operating independently, Protolabs and Hubs will provide their own quotes. If you request a quote through Protolabs that isn’t manufacturable in their system, you can upload the file to our quote builder or contact your account manager to see if the part is a good fit for our network.
Should I consider Protolabs a different vendor than Hubs?
We’re still operating as independent companies, so you should still treat the two companies as separate vendors. When our services become more integrated, you’ll be able to list Protolabs as your vendor, even if you source your parts via the Hubs network.
Do contracts and quality agreements that I’ve set up through Hubs apply to Protolabs?
A signed NDA from Hubs also applies to Protolabs. For a customer NDA or Master Service Agreement signed by Protolabs, it depends on the language of the document, and your legal team may need to decide if a Protolabs subsidiary (Hubs in this case) is covered.
Who should I contact for the status of my order?
For now, if you’ve ordered parts from Hubs or Protolabs, you should contact your account manager from the company you’ve ordered from. Both companies will provide standard updates on your order, and when our services are integrated, you’ll receive the same updates from Protolabs.
Who should I talk to for payment inquiries?
You can talk to your Hubs or Protolabs account manager for any payment questions. They can route your questions to either company’s finance or accounting department if necessary.
Put your parts into production todayGet instant quote