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Protolabs launches Protolabs Network, formally known as Hubs

The transition comes three years after the company acquired 3D Hubs

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Digital manufacturer Protolabs has rebranded its partner network, formally known as ‘Hubs’, to the ‘Protolabs Network’ – giving engineers, designers, and product developers access to a broad range of manufacturing capabilities from more than 250 suppliers globally, under one brand. This access enables them to benefit from competitive prices, faster lead times, and a unified customer experience.

The transition comes three years after Protolabs acquired the Amsterdam-based manufacturing network, 3D Hubs, which has seen significant annual growth since the 2021 purchase.

“We’re building a business model that the manufacturing industry has never seen before, and customers are really starting to harness the full potential it brings,” said Rob Bodor, President and CEO of Protolabs’. “In Q3 2023 alone, Protolabs Network increased its year-on-year revenue by close to 87%. It is a true testament not only to our savvy customer base which is extracting that manufacturing value, but also to our entire Protolabs team who have brought this model to life.”

Protolabs launches Protolabs Network, formally known as Hubs. The transition comes three years after the company acquired 3D Hubs.
Protolabs Network map.

The model combines Protolabs’ homegrown factories with a global network of suppliers to provide its customers with a resource throughout a product’s life cycle.

The network includes more than 250 highly vetted supply partners, which expands the digital manufacturer’s capabilities and available pricing options. Customers can access tighter tolerances, enhanced finishing options, and higher volumes at lower costs, among other benefits. The manufacturing partner network complements the low-volume, on-demand manufacturing services also available from Protolabs.

“This is the future of the industry – manufacturing that is completely tailored to what customers need, when they need it, and at the price point they want,” said Peter Horowitz, managing director for Protolabs Network. “It’s exciting to be on the frontline witnessing that evolution.”

Late last year, the company introduced a service for enhancing surface finish options in product development – offering product developers, innovators, and manufacturers unprecedented choices in surface textures. Focusing on prototypes and limited production series, Protolabs made it possible to achieve unique and appealing surface textures – including leather-like finishes and intricate geometric patterns, a feat previously unattainable in standard additive manufacturing processes.

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