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Specifications policy

Here we provide a detailed overview of how manufacturing partners prioritize order specifications supplied by our customers. Manufacturing partners prioritize specifications based on whether they are primary, secondary or custom.

Primary specifications

The quote


  • Technology

  • Material

  • Surface finish

  • Exceeds standard tolerances? (Y/N)

  • Contains threads? (Y/N)

  • Custom requests

The CAD file


  • Part design / geometry

  • Nominal dimensions

Secondary specifications

The technical drawing

provides additional details for:

  • Threads specifications
    If “contains threads” is Yes in the quote, then more detail must be provided in the technical drawing. If it is No, then no threads in the technical drawing will be applied.

  • Tolerance specifications
    If “exceeds standard tolerances” is Yes in the quote, then more detail must be provided in the technical drawing. If it is No, then no tolerances in the technical drawing will be applied.

  • Custom requests
    The quote must already reflect custom requests in order for corresponding details in the technical drawing or other attachment to be regarded.


provides additional details for:

  • Cosmetic specifications
    Applies only to surface finishes with a cosmetic option.

  • Previous orders
    We can not ensure identical visual consistency between orders, but points of reference help our partners understand your intent and expectations.

  • Custom requests
    Custom requests must be quoted line items in order for corresponding details in attachments to be regarded.

Custom requests

  • A custom request is defined as anything that is not a standard selection on our quoting tool.
  • Common requests include part marking, heat treatment, and additional quality documentation.
  • Custom requests are appended to the quote solely by Protolabs Network team members as specialized line items.


What are “notes” for?

Notes can be used to highlight or emphasize aspects of the quote or CAD model. They cannot contradict these specifications or introduce new requirements. Custom requests found only in the notes will not be honored.

Why are the quote and CAD prioritized?

Our platform instantly quotes parts based on CAD model geometries and selections made in the quote builder. The instant quoting cannot and does not reflect requests for services and specifications outlined in the technical drawings.

The dimensions of CAD models and quote specifications must be accurate and correctly selected for parts to meet your needs and intent

Does Protolabs Network check for contradictions?

If discrepancies are identified between your order requirements, we may put your order on hold and contact you for clarification. This may result in production delays.

Please note that it's not always possible to identify discrepancies in your order specifications. In the case of contradictions, we will follow the policy outlined above.

What should I do if I have a custom request or additional question?

Contact your account manager or