Prototype Development Laboratory (PDL)

Prototype Development Laboratory

The Prototype Development Laboratory (PDL) is a team of NASA engineers and engineering technicians whose primary purpose is the design, fabrication and testing of prototypes, test articles and test support equipment. The PDL supports research and technology development laboratories at KSC as well as all of the major engineering programs and projects in development at KSC.

The PDL also has a long history of providing fast solutions to complex operations problems, helping our launch site customers get back to the business of processing and launching rockets and payloads. The Lab takes challenging problems and delivers complete, documented solutions. The PDL can also provide custom tools and equipment to help customers improve their processes. The Lab is equipped with a state-of-the-art machine shop with Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machining, welding & soldering, pneumatics and hydraulics fabrication, sheet metal fabrication, rapid prototyping (3D printing), composite materials fabrication, electrical fabrication, data acquisition, 3D digital scanning, and LabVIEW software programming.

PDL Design Engineering Services include mechanical engineering design and analysis, mechanisms and kinematics, and Creo CAD/CAM. Our design team is co-located within a machine shop full of highly experienced technicians. Together, the designers and technicians provide a valuable resource for teaching the art of manufacturing engineering to less experienced engineers.


  • CNC Machines
  • EDMs
  • Water-jet
  • Sheet metal fabrication
  • Lathes
  • Mills
  • Welding
  • Orbital Welding
  • Fused Deposition Manufacturing (FDM) 3D Printer
  • Fiber-reinforced FDM 3D Printer
  • Objet Color 3D Printer
  • Metal-X 3D Printer
  • Composite Material equipment (mold router, curing ovens, vacuum systems)