May.31, 2013

3D printers are becoming increasingly popular, but the cost to buy one yourself is still very high. Dutch startup 3D Hubs is building a production network of people who have a 3D printer, and who wish to use their 3D printer to make parts for others.

In April 3D Hubs Amsterdam was officially opened. Anyone who wants to get their design printed out can contact one of the 15 hubs to get fast and affordable 3D printing service.

"3D Hubs is all about local 3D printing, so we can cut out emissions from shipping and bring out the social side of making." says the company.

This week 3D Hubs celebrated the opening of its second city: Antwerp in Belgium. In just a few weeks eighteen 3D printer owners subscribed as a "Hub", making it the largest network of 3D printers in Belgium. "Antwerp is a breeding ground for the creative industries," says co-founder Deepak Mehta, "Therefore there are also a considerable number of 3D printers installed. With these sixteen locations now everyone can get an access close by to print out with your own design. "

To order a 3D printing service, you first upload .stl file to 3D Hubs' website and select the nearest 3D printing hub. In one or two days you can just pick up the 3D print. The price depends on the size of your design, and each hub is free to decide its own rate. In general you pay a startup fee of € 7.50 and € 0.40 / cm ³ for the printing service. And 15% of the total amount will be paid to 3D Hubs as a commission.

Amsterdam and Antwerp are just the two cities 3D Hubs began with. The website is waiting for unlocking the other ninety, mainly European cities. As soon as enough 3D printer owners have signed up the network, a hub will be launched in one of those cities. "Our ultimate goal is to bring production back to Europe." explains co-founder Bram de Zwart.

Posted in 3D Printing Services



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