Here is a list of the questions we receive most often. If you don't see your question listed then don't hesitate to contact us!

We like to make the prototyping process as stress-free for our clients as possible by expertly advising them on the process and material selection that will produce the highest quality parts with the fastest turnaround time for their project. However, for more information, we love having our clients drop by our offices to check out sample parts in order to gain a better understanding of what they can get built with us.

Absolutely! We offer everything from very quick finishing options to full tradeshow quality finishing which includes:

  • Color matching
  • Texture matching
  • Logo application

Basically if you need all of the bells and whistles we’ll give them to you.

There are three options:

  • Fill out the Request Quote form on our website and upload your files.
  • Email us directly at info@protocafe.com
  • Give us a call at 650-369-4678 and speak with someone directly

Unfortunately it’s quite difficult for us to estimate pricing because of the different variables that can only be determined once we have received and reviewed your file. We’d hate to give you an estimate (which would most likely be inaccurate) without first analyzing your file to determine if it is printable and then selecting the appropriate technology to build it.

There are a number of factors that contribute to pricing including:

  • Volume of the model and support material
  • Time to build
  • Post-processing (support material removal, etc.)
  • Level of finishing
  • Turnaround time

All of these factors depend on the complexity of your file. For example, a small part may not use much model material, but it can be so fragile that it we will take extra time and care during the post-processing phase to ensure the highest quality of the features.

Sure thing! However, credit card is required for first time customers and POs will be accepted after we’ve done a credit check. Payment terms and options can be discussed with your Project Manager.
Of course! Our clients’ information confidentiality is very important to us, and we are more than happy to give you the peace of mind you need to work with us.
Give us a call and one of our project managers can guide you through the prototyping and production process giving expert recommendations along the way. If you require more assistance with designing your part for fabrication then we offer consultation services to help you with your redesign.

The file format we require is a .STL which is a standard save-as option on most 3D CAD packages. The important things that we require are files that are:

  • Water-tight. Meaning that all of the faces of the file are stitched together without any holes so that the model is a complete solid.
  • Adequate resolution. If a file is saved at a low resolution then rounded corners will appear faceted and this will show up on the printed model. On the other hand, if your file is quite large then it can crash our systems. Typically the appropriate size is around 1-5 MB.
We attempt to turn 3D printed parts in a day. This all depends on the capacity of our queue when we receive the order and the time it takes to fabricate your parts, but we’ve been known to pull some Flash-like turnaround times.
We try our best to! It’s important for us to remain competitive so we ask for the competitive quote in order to make sure we have a direct apples-to-apples comparison given the vast array of prototyping options.

While we might not be able to match all of those specifications in one material (we hate saying that, but this is prototyping and not alchemy), we have hundreds of different materials to try to best fit your project needs. We have materials that are:

  • Thermoplastics
  • Photopolymers
  • Urethanes
  • Flame-retardant (UL94 V-0)
  • High-impact strength
  • Flexible elastomers
  • Water-clear
  • Translucent
  • USP Class VI (Medical/Food Grade)

And that’s just some of the materials we can work with!