3D Hubs Unlock your city
When Bre Pettis said that the MakerBot would bring the factory to anyone’s desktop a lot of people scoffed. Well, my dear sceptical friends, it looks like that time is upon us as 3D Hubs launch following funding from one of Europe’s leading Venture Capitalist Firms, Balderton.
We interviewed 3D Hubs’ co-founders Bram de Zwart and Brian Garret back in June, while the website was still in BETA. Since then the team have been toiling away, scaling up the company as a whole.
The idea behind 3D Hubs is a simple one, a simple but genius one. There are lots of desktop 3D printers out there, most are used at most 10% of the time. There are also lots of people with ideas out there who would be interested in having them 3D printed but don't want to fork out for Shapeways prices, 3D Hubs joins those people up.
The site works on a city basis, you ‘Unlock Cities’, meaning that if you have a 3D printer you tell 3D Hubs where you are based, once they have 10 printers in one city then people can start ordering goods in said city.
The city aspect is what sets 3D Hubs apart from the competition, having 10 or more 3D Printers in one city means the consumer has choice; choice of colours, materials, sizes, prices and locations. If, for instance, you wanted a small, low-res plastic part you could order it off a person who has a Cube but if you wanted a hi-res, medium sized part you needed you could go to somebody with a Form 1.
The funding from Balderton has allowed 3D Hubs to scale up exponentially, co-founder Brian Garret told Personalize “The growth has been phenomenal, since last time we spoke on June 12th the number of Hubs has more than doubled. In the past 24 hours alone we have had more than 100 new Hub register all over the globe, and their still coming in rapidly.
“We’re well underway on our mission to bring local 3D Printing to as many people as possible,” he added, “right now we have 13 cities unlocked in 5 different countries.”
It’s not just that 3D Hubs have a fantastic idea, they have followed it through, the functionality of the website is seamless, executed flawlessly, so hats must be doffed to the gang in the Low Countries. We expect to see interest in the site go through the roof now it has officially launched.
The former Freedom of Creation employee Brian Garret believes 3D Hubs is just the start of 3D printing’s big take-off, “The way I see it is that 3D Printing is going to disrupt manufacturing much like the Internet disrupted the music industry.”