3D Hubs joins several other startups attempting to crowdsource inexpensive 3D printing. The idea is that idle home or business 3D printers could be put to work producing objects for requestors in local or distant areas. 3D Hubs provides a "hub" where you can find participants offering such services.
The process is straightforward, according to 3D Hubs:
- Upload your 3D design in the simple .STL format
- Choose a print location using our interactive map
- Pick up your product and meet the printer
- Join the community keep on sharing & learning
Their slogan: "Connecting printer owners with people who want to 3D print".
It only works if there is a sufficient number of participants in each community. You need twenty people with 3D printers to "unlock" a city. Unlocked cities as of this writing include: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and others, while in Europe there are many cities involved, including London, Brussels and more.
We're not sure of 3D Hubs business model, but we presume they take a cut of each transaction in exchange for connecting the buyer with the maker.
Via 3D Hubs