Every week, Team Protocase is bringing you a Proto Tech Tip video, where we’ll give an informative look at a particular aspect of sheet metal fabrication and CNC Machining.

This week, Dan from our Engineering & Design Services team chats about getting your designs quoted for Protocase to manufacture. Specifically, Dan provides several tips for how to get your design quoted as quickly as possible.

Watch the full video below – or, if you’d prefer to read his Proto Tech Tip, we’ve got the full transcription below the video. (We also have a detailed blog post about expediting your quote, if you want to go really in-depth).

Be sure to subscribe to Protocase’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss a single Proto Tech Tip!


Hey everyone, Dan here with another Proto Tech Tip. Today I’m going to give you some advice on how to get your design quoted as quickly and accurately as possible.

If you have a design or even a concept, the first step is knowing how much it’s going to cost you to get it from a concept to a product in hand. You need your project done like yesterday, so here are some tips to remember so that our team has all of the info required to get your design quoted quickly and without unnecessary back-and-forth.

The first tip is probably the most important – make sure you provide as many details as possible when sending us your design. Remember to tell us the material type, thickness and finish. So for example, this particular enclosure is 5052 aluminum, which is 0.064″ thick with olive green powder coat. We need this information in order to properly quote your design at a bare

Helping us to understand your application will also allow us to make suggestions to your design. If you’ve worked with us in the past and you’re looking to reorder something, but you need to make some modifications or even if it’s something similar, be sure to let us know, as it provides a better starting point for your quote.

When sending in your design, we can work with just about any file format, however one of the most popular formats that we work with is a SolidWorks assembly file. In order to prevent delays during quoting, be sure to send along all your SolidWorks part files with your assembly files. One of the best ways to do this is to send us the pack-and-go file from SolidWorks,
which will gather all the necessary part files needed to quote your design.

When sending your design to be quoted please let us know if you’re open to substitutions on certain design features or materials. We can make the quote process go by much quicker if our engineering and design services team can offer substitutions for stock materials.

The added benefit here is that we can probably save you money and time if you stick to stocked items. So back to this design, if you were to request an non-stock fastener for your enclosure, we would likely suggest a stocked alternative, which you can find a complete list on our website.

If you can I highly recommend designing in our free 3D enclosure design software, Protocase Designer. You can quote your design as you go instantly, plus once you actually submit your design to be built, a member of our engineering design services team gives it a quick review before it gets put into our engineering queue. This will save you the usual time allotted for approvals.

Lastly, our website and blog is rich with helpful resources and guidelines to ensure your design will meet our manufacturing tolerances. Fully understanding our manufacturing capabilities will reduce the back-and-forth between you and our engineering and design services team to ensure your design is manufacturable.

So there you have it, this was just a general look at how to expedite your next quote with Protocase. We go into much greater detail with our blog posts that is linked in the description below.

Remember, we can quote anything from a napkin sketch to a complete 3D CAD design, just be sure to send as much detail about your project as possible and follow our quoting guidelines. Thanks for watching this week’s video, be sure to tune in next week for our next Proto Tech Tip.

About The Author

Christa Carey

Christa Carey has been with Protocase since the very beginning. In fact, she was the first employee the company hired back in 2002, after working for the Protocase co-founders in a previous job. She graduated in 2000 from Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada. As the CNC Engineering and Design Services Technical Services Manager, Christa manages a team of engineers and technologists in the CNC Machining Division.

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