Over the last few years, 3D printing has developed rapidly and grown in popularity – but very few of us actually own a 3D printer.

3D Hubs is trying to solve this problem with a new Web-based platform that connects creators with anyone that is happy to rent out their 3D printer in the local area. Launched publicly today, designers can upload their design and then choose from available print locations on an interactive map.

The owner of the 3D printer then completes the design – earning some money and experimenting with a new project along the way – before meeting up with the creator to exchange the finished article.

3D Hubs Europe Communities 3D Hubs helps you connect with 3D printer owners in your local area and realize your next creation

The hope is that 3D hubs – hence the name – will emerge internationally and encourage new printers and makers to register with the service. European cities are ‘unlocked’ once 10 3D printers are listed, in comparison to 20 for other international locales.

A 3D Hubs Mayor is then appointed to organize community events and keep everything running smoothly; unlocked cities so far include Amsterdam, London, Copenhagen and Brussels.

“3D printers are becoming more commonplace as pricing drops and quality improves, empowering a new generation of makers and entrepreneurs,” said Bram de Zwart, CEO and co-founder of 3D Hubs.

“Much like music did with the rise of the Internet, manufacturing has begun to take an industry-changing peer-to-peer form. 3D Hubs is at the forefront of this trend, enabling anyone with a 3D printer to make customized local goods for their community.”

3D Hubs

Image Credit: Van Alles Wat Ontwerp