3D Hubs, an online 3D printing service, has announced that it will be facilitating designers in connecting with industrial-grade 3D printers in their areas. According to the organization, with the launch of 3D Hubs HD, they will be able to reach out to over one billion people who will get access to a 3D printer within 10 miles of their homes. 3D Hubs operates a network of 3D printers with over 20,000 locations in over a 150 countries, giving its new service a broad potential.
In very short span of time, the company has been able to carve a niche for its services by facilitating transactions between 3D printer owners (Hubs) and people that want to make 3D prints. The company says that it learned how inaccessible industrial-grade 3D printing can be, as there are several issues like long lead times, hard-to-reach support teams, and high shipping costs. However, according to 3D Hubs, its model makes things would easy and extremely affordable.
Designers Can Connect with Industrial-Grade 3D printers in their Area
In an announcement, 3D Hubs declared that it has an approval system, in which it approves hubs and allows them to deliver industrial-grade prints that are awarded the “3D Hubs HD” badge. The entire focus during this process is on direct communication with 3D Hubs customers in order to acheive accurate production and fast turnaround. 3D Hubs notes that some of the industry leaders including i.materialise, Sculpteo and NRI are going to be in the first group of service providers that have agreed to make industrial-grade 3D printing locally available for customers.
The process of 3D printing has been made easy by 3D Hubs, as it says that similar to the existing 3D Hubs experience, ordering through 3D Hubs HD providers is as simple as uploading a 3D printable file and choosing a nearby Hub. Talking about the services, 3D Hubs co-founder Brian Garret elaborated that through unlocking this tier of industrial-grade materials, the company is now able to offer an end-to-end solution to the customers both large and small. He also added that by combining affordable desktop production with high-end industrial-grade services, the full spectrum of 3D printing is now becoming accessible.
Kicking off 3D Hubs HD in 37 Cities
Headquartered in Amsterdam, 3D Hubs opened its second office in New York in August 2014. Earlier, the duo of Bram de Zwart and Brian Garret founded the company in April 2013 to facilitate transactions between 3D printer owners (Hubs) and people who want to make 3D prints. The privately held company backed by Balderton Capital and Dutch investors DOEN and Zeeburg has received venture capital as well from several investors. The firm raised $4.5 million in its Series A round of funding in September 2014.
The company in a very short span of time has been able to form business partnerships with several big companies like Autodesk, Fairphone and Uber. Earlier, 3D Hubs announced that it entered into a partnership with Uber to allow users to have prints shipped within NYC using Uber’s rush service with discounted rates. The company is kicking off 3D Hubs HD in 37 cities with the introduction of Strong and Flexible Nylon. The choice to use flexible nylon is due to it being the highly-functional material which is popular for both Product Designers and Architects.
Additionally, as it is 3D printed through the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) additive manufacturing process, the company considers it apt for 3D printing. The firm has also decided that over the next few months, it will continue to unveil more HD materials and ramp up locations to bring local industrial-grade 3D printing to everyone around the world. At the moment, the company has also announced that through the end of October 2015, artists, designers, engineers and other 3D content creators are invited to try the Strong & Flexible Nylon with a 30% discount.
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Images courtesy of 3D Hubs.
Disclaimer: The author of this article is neither associated with 3D Hub nor has any vested interest with the firm.