3D Hubs Acquires Printivate
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on November 08, 2016 |
3D Hubs, a network of distributed 3D printing services, has brought guaranteed printability to its p...

Earlier this year, 3D Hubs took in an additional round of funding totaling $7 million, with which the company aimed to improve its global network of 3D printing services. In addition to expanding its 3D Hubs API, which acts as a third-party consumer portal for ordering 3D prints, the company said that it would make available such tools as highly advanced 3D file checks and fixes, as well as smart material suggestions.

Now, it seems that 3D Hubs has made an acquisition, its first, that will make it possible to implement those latter changes sooner rather than later. By purchasing Printivate, a service that optimizes and repairs 3D models for 3D printing, 3D Hubs will be able to improve 3D file handling and printability prediction.

There are plenty of 3D printing services available for those that need prototypes produced on demand, but guaranteed printability is either not possible or requires an extra fee for an engineer to repair a file manually. Though there may be free printability tools available to those who require them, the acquisition will see Printivate’s technology directly integrated into the upload and ordering process, while bringing Printivate’s expertise to 3D Hubs.

Printivate's 3D printability analysis tools. (Image courtesy of Printivate.)
Printivate's 3D printability analysis tools. (Image courtesy of Printivate.)

With Printivate, 3D Hubs aims to introduce automated smart model analysis, ultimately streamlining the ordering process. Rather than tell customers that a model is not printable and sending it back or offering additional model repair services, hubs on the 3D Hubs network can simply begin printing. This, in turn, allows them to take in more orders with faster turnaround, potentially leading to a drop in prices as well. When extrapolated to the network’s over 34,000 printers, this means vast efficiency for the company overall.

Printivate’s model repair tools. (Image courtesy of Printivate.)
Printivate’s model repair tools. (Image courtesy of Printivate.)

Adrian Muresan, CEO and founder of Printivate, will also be joining 3D Hubs as the head of R&D in the company’s Amsterdam office. As Muresan said of the acquisition, “Printivate developed advanced computational software that allows 3D Hubs to simplify and automate this process. The automation will lead to faster turnaround times, lower failure rates, less handling and higher quality prints throughout the platform.”

3D Hubs plans to make the Printivate tools available by the end of the year.

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