3D Hubs, an Amsterdam, The Netherlands-based collaborative production platform for makers and 3D printer owners, raised a seed funding of undisclosed amount.
The round was led by Balderton Capital.
The company intends to use the funds to scale its platform globally, expand its team, sign partnerships, and grow local 3D communities worldwide.
Founded in April 2013 by Bram de Zwart, CEO, and backed by Rockstart Accelerator, 3D Hubs is a collaborative production platform for 3D printer owners and 3D makers to connect and to print customized products in 3D in their neighborhood (3D printing is a manufacturing technology that allows people to print solid three-dimensional objects from digital models by adding layers of material on top of each other).
The company allows owners to earn money with their 3D printer joining the Hubs listing in their city. Each Hub decides how much money it wants to earn, and sets its own start-up price for a 3D print, plus additional fee charges for each cubic centimeter of material used. 3D Hubs performs a 3D model repair check using Netfabb cloud software for each order to ensure the uploaded 3D-model is watertight, automatically repairs it if necessary, and once the 3D-model passes inspection, the order is processed and forwarded to the Hub. The company adds a 15% commission (excluding taxes) on top of the price entered for each customer quote, processes the order, and collects the payment.
The network currently has over 500 3D printers spread across 200 cities. London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Copenhagen are considered “unlocked” each having over 10 3D Hub print facilities (Cities outside Europe are unlocked once 20 3D printers are listed).
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The company recently published its own “Manifesto”, which we publish below:
The Future Of Making
Have you ever wondered where all of the stuff you buy comes from? Yourfavorite t-shirt might be made of cotton grown in Africa, manufactured in China, then dispatched to the U.S. and subsequently to your home town.As consumers, we’ve grown used to being detached from the supply chain.We never encounterthe folks behind the production of the things we know and love, they are faceless links in a complex and obscure global process.
Now imagine a world thatruns on local products.Electricity comes from solar cells on yourroof, food is grown in urban farms, and everyday commodities are made on a 3D printer owned by someone in your neighborhood. Using locally recycled material, this printer would produce Nokia phone cases, Nike shoes and even yourfavorite Ikea accessories. Each design would be tailored to your needs and personality and produced the moment you want it. The need for shipping would disappear. Your products would be a short stroll or bike ride away, at the friendly print Hub around the corner. 3D printing has the potential to eliminate waste, transport pollution and long shipping times -relics of centralized production.To our disappointment, most well known 3D printing companies are still supplying globally from a handful of locations. We believe in a different approach.
As pricing drops and quality improves, 3D printers will become more commonplace in people’s homes, empowering a new breed of makers and entrepreneurs. Manufacturing could then be distributed among communities.Yourfavorite electronics brand could send you accessories and spare parts through a local Hubber at a much lower cost.
Toys for your kids, designer clothes and trendy home furniture could be made to order at other Hubs located just a few steps away.
With 3D printing, the factories of the future could become community-run micro-operations.Products could be made on-demand and closerto their point of purchase, with individuals and companies alike driving their design and innovation.Making and distributing stuff would not only be cheaper and betterforthe environment
but great forlocal economies as well.All we would need is a supportive infrastructure that allows to tap into this production network when and where we need it.
This is our vision.
3D Hubs provides a collaborative production platform for makers and 3D printer owners.
Using our platform, anyone with a 3D printer can bring customized, locally produced goods to those around them. Together, we strive to build communities that want to share the fun of making 3D printed products, while igniting a new industrial revolution in the process.
Join our movement.