Announcing a $7M Series B investment to accelerate a future of decentralized manufacturing
Three years ago we started 3D Hubs and wrote our manifesto for achieving a distributed manufacturing future by connecting 3D printers from around the world into one online platform.
Thanks to overwhelming support from our global 3D printing community we’ve been able to make incredible progress, seeing over 400,000 prints made across more countries than you’ll find a McDonald’s. With over half of these prints picked up locally, 3D Hubs became the only truly decentralised manufacturing company in the world.
This year companies such as HP and Carbon are entering the space with radical innovations that will make 3D printing a much more competitive technology for the production of end-parts. This accelerates the transition to a world of decentralised manufacturing. We’re more convinced than ever that the 3D Hubs community is going to lead this transition as today we’re announcing $7 million in Series B funding.
We’ve been joined by new investors who have built the world’s most successful online marketplaces such as Uber, Booking.com, and Spotify. Experience that helps 3D Hubs becoming THE platform where 3D prints are made.
We continue to look at the future and this is where we will be focusing in the next three years:
1. Simplifying 3D printing through automation
Until a few years ago the only way to order a 3D print was by phone or email conversation, often taking days to even get to the actual printing step. Although we’ve already removed a lot of this friction we believe that software can make the 3D print ordering and fulfilment process still much faster and efficient, creating a better experience for both our customers and Hubs.
New solutions range from making 3D file checks and fixes an automated and standardized process, smarter material suggestions and advanced finishing options. With collected data on over 400,000 parts printed at thousands of different Hubs, we’re building the intelligence to smartly match specific customer’s needs to the right local Hub. Key in a market with such large fragmentation in technologies, materials and finishes.
2. Empowering Hubs
With the continued growth of print orders, there’s increased need for more efficient order management and control. The Hub Dashboard will be expanded to streamline customer interaction and reduce the amount of repetitive tasks. We’ll introduce analytics to continuously optimize your 3D printing business with actionable insights. New tools, such as Hub Discounts, will help retain your most important customers. We’ll basically build the best solution to run a successful online 3D printing service.
3. API as gateway to consumers.
While we’re positioning 3dhubs.com as a destination for engineers and designers that want maximum choice in materials and finishes, our API is becoming the gateway for the consumer. Through API integrations with Thingiverse and Fairphone we have already shown the consumer benefits of a 3D printer network - optimized cost and time of delivery - while providing products in highly standardized quality, materials, and colors. When companies like Nike, Lego, and IKEA want to offer customizable 3D printed products in the next few years, our API will be their access to a global high-quality fulfilment network.
These first three years have exceeded all of our expectations and we want to thank our community and investors for their enormous contribution. We can’t wait to see how far we’ll get in the next three!
The 3D Hubs team