3D Hubs staff will soon be on tour in Italy - from February, 4th to March, 7th - officially "unlocking" four cities which have just crossed the 10-printers minimum requirement and then celebrating the first italian active hubs: Rome and Milan, which were unlocked at the end of 2013 but in the meantime registered a strong growth in registered 3D printers. 3D Hubs, as we wrote in this post, is an online platform connecting who wants to 3D print objects and owners of 3D printers with spare capacity.

3D Hubs italian tour underlines the strong development of 3D printing in Italy. As Simona Ferrari, from 3D Hubs, explains: "After the European Maker Faire in Rome we registered a radical change on our platform: we switched from only one unlocked (i.e. with at least ten printers) italian community - Rome - to seven: Rome, Milan, Florence, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Naples. At present, Italy is one of the most developed countries on 3D Hubs for the number of local communities and orders. Milan is even the first community outnumbering Amsterdam in 3D printers (63, currently).

3D Hubs will meet local 3D printing communities first of all in the newly unlocked cities: Naples (February, 4th), Florence (Februray 6th, MakeTank is a partner of this event), Bologna (February, 7th) and Turin (February, 8th). Then it will celebrate two "older" communities: Rome (February, 15th) and Milan (March, 7th).

"I believe - says Simona - that the Maker Faire made everyone more aware of the ongoing technological revolution, an awareness no one had before. We imagined that the best way to accelerate this revolution is to meet the local communites, companies and organizations fueling the revolution every day, locally… The tour's main goal is to create and stimulate awareness of what's happening, most of all in the media, also tradional ones, to involve even non technical people. 3D Hubs, then, doesn't want to meet its communities just one time, but to create recurring (every two or three months) events stimulating sharing and collaboration among local makers on future projects".

Collaboration and sharing are two key elements of 3D Hubs' philosophy and go well beyond the tour itself. There is a 'business' incentive to be on 3D Hubs platform (to print for other people, earning money and making our own printer work also when we wouldn't use it) but there are also community reasons. "Makers and hubs - explains Simona - will be always kept up-to-date on 3D Hubs' events. We have also a local forum Community Talk where people can interact, exchanging ideas and advice… We want to create awareness and foster spontanous meetings among people thanks to their common interest in 3D printing. After our meetings, then, we hope to see on 3D Hubs communities self-organizing by themselves to meet again and to make 3D printing become not only an everyday subject but also a job".

If you want to know more, there's nothing better than coming to the unlocking events to experience 3D Hubs' philosophy directly. In Florence, MakeTank and KentStrapper will host the event at IED Firenze (here more details). In Naples you'll be guest of Riot Studio with Vincenzo Sangiovanni of Vulcanica Lab and the Sharebot team (here more details), in Bologna the event will take place at MakeinBO with Wasp and Design for Craft (here more details), in Turin FabLab Torino will host the event at Toolobx Office (here more details). Then, two Community Celebrations: in Rome at Coworking SPQwoRk and in Milan at FabLabMilano.



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