3D printing community network 3D Hubs announced a new offering focused on industrial 3D printing capabilities in 37 cities.
The new offering recognizes there are differing needs in the 3D printing community. While consumers and casual users may require 3D prints of lower resolution, there are others, particularly professionals, who require much higher resolutions and materials.
This type of print cannot be easily produced by the typical 3D Hubs participant, who many operate only a desktop, hobby or consumer 3D printer.
However, it is entirely possible to hook up a full-on industrial-grade 3D printer to 3D Hubs’ network, too. That’s actually been slowly happening over the years since 3D Hubs launched: we’ve seen color 3D printers, high-level 3D Systems and Stratasys gear appear in their lists of available printers.
Now 3D Hubs is making it official by designating certain hubs as “HD”. To qualify as an “HD” hub, the node must meet four factors:
- Industrial grade equipment must be used to ensure “optimal and consistent quality”
- Five-star ratings must appear on at least 80% of the reviews for the node (and presumably there must be a minimum number of reviews, too)
- The node can provide appropriate communications to ensure the precise needs of the customer are understood.
- The node can turnaround requests in rapid time
3D Hubs says the HD service will launch today in 37 cities and offer “strong and flexible nylon” material only, but more materials are planned as additional nodes join the 3D Hubs HD program. They don’t say so, but we suspect this involves a series of EOS nylon powder-based 3D printers.
This seems like a natural extension of 3D Hubs’ community network, as there have been increasing numbers of professional 3D printers joining. We presume the number hit a threshold, enabling 3D Hubs to formalize and brand their use.
The really interesting part to us is that this step takes 3D Hubs much closer to being a full industrial 3D part printing service. Previously 3D Hubs might have been viewed as a “consumer” service that was inappropriate for professional use. Now that’s not the case – and competing 3D part printing services might take note they have a new competitor on the horizon: 3D Hubs HD.
Via 3D Hubs