August 2009 Design Tip

Automated and Live Help: The Best of Both Worlds

If you've had much contact with Proto Labs (our products, our quarterly Journal, monthly design tips, online design guides and the like) you know about our automated processes. Available 24/7, FirstQuote® and ProtoQuote® interactive quotes can supply free detailed design feedback and pricing overnight based on your uploaded 3D CAD model. Both are incredibly smart systems, running on the industry's largest compute cluster, but sometimes you just need to talk to a human expert. That's what our customer service engineers (CSEs) are here for.

Nobody knows your needs better than you do, but our CSEs eat, sleep, and breathe machined and injection moulded parts, so there's hardly a parts-related question they can't answer.

  1. Is there something in your ProtoQuote® or FirstQuote® design analysis that you'd like to talk about? Call us.
  2. Wondering about the right resin for a specific need, whether a sharp corner will cause stress in your finished part, or the possibility of sink in a thick wall? That's what we're here for.
  3. Wondering how to eliminate or minimize draft requirements? If there's a way, we'll know about it.
  4. What about the possibility of knit lines weakening a moulded part? Our CSEs can run a computerized ProtoFlow® analysis that you can download to see how resin will flow into the mould and whether it will cause potential problems.

Once you get a layout for approval, we can work with you on matters of gate and ejector pin placement to make sure that they don't effect your part's functioning or cosmetics. And once you've received your parts, we're still here to help. Prototypes are often just one step in a process, so if you're thinking about further modifications, our CSEs are available to help with those critical decisions or just to be a second pair of eyes. It's all part of our commitment to you, our customer. We're here to get you prototypes that work and to do it in days or weeks (rather than months) and at prices you can afford.

The final decisions are yours, of course, but we've got smart systems and smart people standing by to help. For automated assistance, information, and quotes go to For live help, call us on 00800 77686665 and see us at:

 Fakuma 2009
13-17 October 2009
Stand # A3-3221
Messe Friedrichshafen
Friedrichshafen, Germany

 TCT Live 2009
20-21 October 2009
Stand # H1
IEC Ricoh Arena
Coventy, United Kingdom

 Midest 2009
17-20 November 2009
Stand # F175
Paris Nord Villepinte
Paris, France

 Euromold 2009
2-5 December 2009
Stand # B21
Exhibition Center
Frankfurt/Main, Germany