Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Will Hagle
3D Hubs allows users to make their 3D printing ideas a reality by connecting designers with printers in various local communities.
3D Printing is an exciting technology that offers limitless possibilities of applications in the future when the printing process becomes more advance. A friend of mine who built his own 3D printer compared his printing experiments to Bill Gates tinkering around with computers in his garage. While that might be an overstatement, now is the perfect time to get involved with a worldwide community of 3D printers. 3D Hubs makes it much easier to connect with other printers. The site expects you to be knowledgable about the 3D printing process to some degree — as you have to upload your own design in .STL format — but aside from that the barrier of entry is low. After you’ve uploaded your design, you simply choose a print location near you using 3D Hub’s interactive map, and then pick up your product and meet the person who printed it.
3D Hubs works with a huge variety of 3D printers around the world, so finding a hub that’s willing to take on your project is likely if you live near a major metropolis. After you send a request with your .STL file, the particular hub has 24 hours to respond. If your order is accepted, you pay for the print job through 3D Hubs. To ensure that the order is printed correctly, 3D Hubs holds the funds for four days. You can either pick up your print or have it delivered, although the expectation is that in-person pick-ups will help foster a growing community of 3D printing enthusiasts. If you’re a printer, 3D Hubs is also a useful site for attracting additional business and practicing your skills on new projects. Each community of printers also has a 3D Hubs Mayor, who organizes events and workshops in a particular city. If you’re interested in getting involved in 3D printing now, when the hobby is as close as possible to Bill Gates tinkering around in his garage, I’d highly suggest heading over to 3D Hubs and getting some more information.