Link3D pitches a new platform for industrial additive manufacturing

Link3D is launching a new service to connect industrial businesses with additive manufacturers around the country.

Pitching itself as a more professional alternative to 3D Hubs, Formlabs and Shapeways, Link3D is the fruit of nearly two years of work from founder and chief executive Shane Fox.

For Fox, additive manufacturing has three hurdles to overcome before it reaches widespread adoption among the big industrial companies that will take 3D printing to commercialization.

The first, Fox said, is secure file transfers to ensure that intellectual property is protected when outsourced to a third party.

Beyond security, Fox boasts of his company’s network of certified additive manufacturers. He likens working with one of the other services as letting an unlicensed manufacturer make the stock for an AR-15.

“We’re really focused on the hardcore industrial applications,” said Fox. “We’re focused on industrial scale and only industrial hardware.”

Link3D’s network of manufacturers has received 100 certifications in 24 countries, according to Fox and the company is still looking to collect more.

The network of internationally certified manufacturers also helps with the company’s third difference from its competitors. Price transparency.

According to Fox, Link3D will offer real-time quotes for manufacturers looking to print prototypes to avoid scenarios where two printers in the same city can quote radically different prices for the same 3D print job.

“Our mission is to make additive manufacturing accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time. We serve a diverse group of industries, focused on metal and polymer production,” said Fox in a statement.