This week I’m in New York City, covering the Inside 3D Printing Conference and the other events which are part of MecklerMedia’s 3D Print Week NY. It was almost a year ago to the date that I first met the co-founders of 3D Hubs at this exact event, when they introduced their 3D printing platform via the Inside 3D Printing Start-up Competition. I remember thinking to myself, “What a tremendous idea these guys have come up with, allowing anyone who doesn’t own a 3D printer to basically rent time on 3D printers that are sitting idle in their area.”
I was right, the idea was a good one, and 3D Hubs has gone from being a little known company one year ago, to becoming one of the most well respected, popular services within the 3D printing space. The year has been filled with plenty of announcements and partnerships on behalf of the company, and today they are at it again with yet another announcement which should help them expand even further.
3D Hub’s Head of Community, Filemon Schoffer, has informed 3DPrint.com that today they announce that they are teaming up with Sketchfab to take full-color 3D printing worldwide, via their hubs.
“Today we’re launching full-color 3D printing support on 3D Hubs,” Schoffer tells us. “We’re doing this together with Sketchfab, our first partner to integrate the 3D Hubs full-color API. Sketchfab will add the 3D Hubs print button to all 3D printable models, making it super easy to print great colourful 3D models for, well.., everyone.”
This announcement will not only bring more business to both Sketchfab and 3D Hubs, but it will bring the ease and availability of 3D printing to anyone looking to 3D print objects directly from Sketchfab, using 3D printers in their local vicinity. Sketchfab will be adding the 3D Hubs “print” button to as many as 300,000 3D printable models currently listed on their site.
3D Hubs has 250 locations worldwide which utilize full-color 3D printers, and this number is expanding on a weekly basis. Now it will be as simple as clicking on “Order 3D Print” via the Sketchfab website, and then being directed instantly to the 3D Hubs website to select the closest location to you.
“With full-color 3D scanning technologies becoming more accessible, we saw increasing demand within our community to support texture files and color maps,” explained Bram de Zwart, CEO and co-founder of 3D Hubs. “Sketchfab is a great place to publish and share these full-color 3D models, especially as they can easily be embedded in a website and on social media.”
As for Sketchfab, this will certainly go a long way in making their community a more attractive one, specifically for those who are looking to own tangible objects of some of the incredible 3D virtual models they see on their computer screens.
“Integrating 3D printing has been a highly requested feature from the Sketchfab community,” said Alban Denoyel, CEO of Sketchfab. “We are excited to join forces with 3D Hubs to make this happen. One of the most important promises of 3D printing is to be able to make things locally, and possibly bypass transport and associated costs. We think 3D Hubs is the closest to achieving this vision, with their global distributed network and active community of makers. It feels like a natural partnership for us, and we are happy to start feeding their printers with great colorful 3D content.”
Wait, but there’s more. No 3D Hubs story is complete without their 3D printable mascot getting involved in some way, shape or form. In honor of today’s announcement, New York based designer, Fleet Hower has designed a special version of Marvin, which is now available for download in full-color on both 3D Hubs and Sketchfab. Heck, maybe you will even want to order a 3D print of him!