3D printers are becoming increasingly popular, but the cost to buy one yourself is still very high. Since March, Dutch startup 3D Hubs has been building a production network of people who have a 3D printer, and who wish to use their 3D printer to make parts for others.
On Tuesday the service is publicly launched. 3D Hubs also announced that it received an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by Balderton Capital and will now go global.
3D Hubs is a Web-based platform where designers can upload their design and then choose any 3D printer nearby on an interactive map. 3D Hubs enables everyone with a 3D printer to join and earn money with their 3D printer.
A "hub" is only unlocked once a specific number of printers are listed. Cities within Europe are considered "unlocked" once 10 3D printers have been listed, while cities outside Europe are unlocked once 20 3D printers are listed. Unlocked cities currently include London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Antwerp and Copenhagen. But no U.S. cities have been unlocked yet.
According to 3D Hubs, it is Europe's largest network of 3D printers with over 500 printing locations.
3D Hubs will leverage the new funds to scale its platform globally. In US another company MakeXYZ.com also provides a service that helps you find 3D printers nearby. "We have signed up 550 printers in 1.5 months." said MakeXYZ earlier this year. MakeXYZ has the largest network of 3D printers in US, for example it has around 22 3D printers available in New York City while 3D Hubs has seven. So 3D Hubs' first mission is to use the seed capital from Balderton Capital to scale the platform as well as expanding its team and create partnerships.
"Balderton loves to back entrepreneurs who are making disruptive ideas a reality. 3D Hubs' ambitions have been global from the outset, and their platform has the potential to revolutionize traditional approaches to manufacturing and retail, making 3D printing a viable option for everyone for the first time," said Mark Evans, partner at Balderton Capital. "We've invested in 3D Hubs because it is run by an exceptional team operating in a space with huge potential."
Posted in 3D Printing Services
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jd90 wrote at 8/28/2013 10:29:46 PM:
Adam, because some people might want to make a little money on the side? Maybe you just misunderstand the system, just because not everyone is the same with their goals on what their property is used for. This isn't a system where you rent your machine out, you can bid on & make parts for money. That said, MakeXYZ doesn't seem to have much influence.
JF wrote at 8/28/2013 4:41:08 PM:
Quality control.....hard to pull off....
Adam wrote at 8/28/2013 10:55:12 AM:
why would any one do this. my printer is for me not the public lol