iPod inventor backs European expansion of 3D Hubs digital manufacturing platform

3D Hubs has announced it is continuing its European expansion with a move to France backed by Future Shape, the French investment firm led by iPod inventor and Nest founder, Tony Fadell.

Having secured 20 million USD and a new U.S. location inside Chicago’s mHUB innovation centre earlier this year, the online digital manufacturing platform is opening new offices in Paris with a goal of producing 4 million parts for European companies by the end of next year.

Founded in 2013, the 3D Hubs online platform brings together a global network of 2,300+ machines to provide engineers with access to on-demand 3D printing and more recently, CNC, and injection moulding services. Using its instant quoting service, customers can upload their part designs and receive quotes from manufacturing partners with their desired technology capabilities. 3D Hubs reports that the network has already produced more than 3 million parts for customers including NASA, Toyota and ABB who are said to have made the platform an integrated part of their sourcing process for rapid prototyping and low-volume production runs.

Fadell said: “3D Hubs would have been an essential resource when we were building the iPod, the iPhone, and Nest. Instead of waiting weeks to get back models & prototypes, now with 3D Hubs’ crucial online prototyping & manufacturing platform, engineers and designers can turn ideas into objects in only a few days, with precision 3D printed, CNC’d, or injection moulded parts, and even move straight into volume manufacturing.”

With today’s announcement, 3D Hubs aims to provide French engineers with the capabilities to securely source custom parts online to reduce lead times and costs associated with traditional manufacturing and supplier networks. The company believes this will help strengthen start-ups and businesses, and help modernise manufacturing opportunities for Europe’s third largest manufacturing economy.  

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