If you visit your account at YouMagine today, you’ll likely note that the site has added a “Print on 3DHubs” button, and it’s meant to let anyone without a 3D printer order objects from the library at YouMagine.
According to YouMagine, the button allows the use of 3DHubs to print out lamps, vases, boxes, covers and toys among a long list of other available items.
3DHubs is an Amsterdam-based 3D printing network startup created by two industry vets. Initially funded with the aid of Balderton Capital, 3D Hubs is a way for technicians to make money using their 3D printers during their idle hours, and to date the 3D Hubs network around the world numbers more than 20,000 connected 3D printers.
Filemon Schoffer, the Head of Community at 3D Hubs, says the success of the idea is proof that “distributed manufacturing has become a reality.” He says 3D printing is opening up new business models that will disrupt existing supply chains.
“We are curious to see how many people will use this opportunity to get a 3D print in their hands,” they say. “If this feature is used often, then we may look at adding margin to the 3DHubs order so that the designer can make money on the 3D prints of the objects. At this time, neither we nor the designer makes money off of the 3D print.”
The developers at YouMagine say they believe it’s important to keep the files on YouMagine free. The idea is that by keeping them free, the status will promote remixing and sharing, and they add that it will promote the idea that designers should receive a fee per print.
“People are used to paying for physical objects, whereas to many, the digital is most often free,” they say in the announcement. “We will be watching the 3DHubs button closely to see what is being printed and what people are interested in. We’ve known the 3Dhubs people for a years now and its wonderful to see them grow and do so well.”
If you want to try out the new functionality, you can find the 3Dhubs button below the “download” button next to each model, and it works like this: find a printer by searching the area in or around your city on their interactive map, check out the available printer types by hub, review details like delivery time, print quality, and price per cubic centimeter of material and then send your file through the web interface.
It’s an amazing idea, and 3D Hubs says “more than 1 billion people now have access to a 3D printer within 10 miles of their home.” In New York state alone, there are at least 178 3D print locations nearby. Til now, more than 50,000 products have been made and over 150,000 digital 3D models have been uploaded through their distributed manufacturing network.
YouMagine, the online community of 3D printing enthusiasts, is primarily a vehicle for supporting open source creation and wants to be a “force multiplier” for the entire 3D printing community. This integration of 3D Hubs into Youmagine is just one such move in a line of similar such integrations by websites such as Thingiverse, Instructables, and others.
Have every used YouMagine or 3DHubs for your 3D printing needs? Let us know in the YouMagine and 3DHubs forum thread on 3DPB.com.