Your masterclass in product design and development


Protolabs’ Insight video series

Our Insight video series will help you master digital manufacturing.

Every Friday we’ll post a new video – each one giving you a deeper Insight into how to design better parts. We’ll cover specific topics such as choosing the right 3D printing material, optimising your design for CNC machining, surface finishes for moulded parts, and much more besides.

So join us and don’t miss out.

CPD Accredited Videos

Insight: Choosing A Manufacturing Source


This can be one of the most important decisions you make on a project, and can easily make the difference between glowing success and not-so-glowing failure. You’ll need to be certain the option you pick fits your needs exactly, whether you want someone to handle your project as a one-off or plan to develop a long-term production relationship with them.

Insight: Bridging The Gap Between Prototyping And Production

Speed to market is key in most businesses. When prototyping a new product, you want to ensure you make it to market before your competitor. This video looks at the concept of bridge tooling and how it can support you in your transition from prototyping to production.

Most Recent Insight Videos

Recently added!

Insight: On-Demand Manufacturing

On-demand manufacturing can help you at different times of your product lifecycle and with mass customisation. In this video, we explore how injection moulding fits into this mix, looking at controlling your supply of products, the manufacturing technology, mass customisation and the overall benefits.

Recently added!

Insight: Rotork Case Study

Today we are going to look at CNC machining and explore how it can be used to create prototypes. In this video, we explore how Rotork Gears used CNC machining to prototype a system to prevent leaks from valves into an explosive atmosphere.

Recently added!

Insight: 3D Printed Rhino Skull Case Study

Today the focus is on 3D printing. Not the tips and tricks of the trade this time, but instead we’re looking at a project that demonstrates how versatile additive manufacturing really is. In this video we look back on when we produced a 3D printed Sumatran rhinoceros skull for Yxlon – for the purpose of scientific research – starting with the project goal, why 3D printing was chosen and the outcome.

Insight: Covid-19 Case Study

The majority of our Insight videos focus on specific technologies or materials within digital manufacturing. We also talk about many of the challenges that design engineers face through prototyping and manufacturing – and how to get often critical products to market quickly.

But in today’s video we’re going to talk about how we helped Mercedes-AMG use rapid prototyping and on-demand manufacturing to produce urgent CPAP devices for Covid-19 hospital patients. This was an exciting project to work on, but there were some valuable learning elements that are usefully shared here.

Insight: Industry 4.0

Despite being a term used in manufacturing parlance for a number of years, ‘industry 4.0’ is still very much a reference to the future. If you haven’t heard the term already, it stands for the integration of digital communication and online tools with real, physical hardware to help bring about the fourth industrial revolution. In this video we look at what industry 4.0 is, what it means for manufacturing: the benefits, the security considerations and how it can support technological advancement.

Insight: Supply Chain Management

Successful supply chain management can provide a number of safeguards along the product life cycle process. In this video we discuss a number of those safeguards to help prevent potential disruptions and help ensure you achieve your product delivery targets. These start from the quoting process, and how online quoting software can advise on manufacturability; also, prototyping for testing, and how 3D printing can cut down lead times allowing for more iterations; finally, support for a pilot production or ‘soft launch’ where a few thousand units can be manufactured for the purpose of market testing while preparations are being made for later mass production.

Insight: IM Gates

Gates are a completely and utterly vital part to the injection moulding process as they are used to get liquid resin from the moulding press into the mould – essentially, where we do the injecting part of injection moulding. However, they do tend to leave their mark on parts, in the form of blemishes and dimples on the surface. In this video we look at different places to locate the gate and the best sort of gate to use, covering tab gates, hot tip gates, and pin gates.


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