Oct 14, 2015 | By Alec

We here at 3ders.org are typically quite optimistic about the state and future of the 3D printing community, but it has gotten increasingly difficult to gauge its exact state and size. That’s exactly why its very fortunate that some people continuously try to develop comprehensive data and statistics on the community, and few have been as successful as 3D Hubs. The Amsterdam-based 3D Hubs has been releasing monthly 3D printing trend reports for some time now, and have just released the report for October 2015.

3D Hubs have access to over 23,000 3D printers spread out over more than 150 countries. About 2,000 hubs have been added recently, including many in the Caribean such as Saint Lucia. And this month’s report is especially interesting as 3D Hubs HD service has just been announced.
While spread out over all continents, it is particularly telling that the vast majority of HD service providers (which includes i.materialise, Sculpteo and NRI) are situated in Europe. Other interesting trends include the trending of the Duplicator l3 3D printer, and the staggering growth taking place in Paris.

Aside from that, the data for highest rated and most often used 3D printers reveal a close race. The Prusa Steel and Rapide Lite 200 are still the most highly rated desktop FDM 3D printers, but the scores are almost completely identical. ‘In their footsteps the CEL Robox climbed up two positions and now holds the bronze,’ 3D Hubs reveals. The top five is completed by the Afinia H480 3D printer, meaning that the Zortrax M200 has dropped out of the top five. In the field of industrial 3D printers, meanwhile, the Objet Eden 260 still reigns supreme, but is now being approached by number 2 Projet 460plus plaster 3D printer. The 3D Systems/Stratasys domination thus seems unchanged.

But trending 3D printers also say a lot about popularity, with surprise candidate Duplicator l3 doing very well despite costing as little as $399.’The Ultimaker 2 held onto the silver while the M3D Micro dropped to the 3rd spot this month., 3D Hubs reveals, but more interesting is the tremendous growth in popularity of the Formlabs' Form 1+, now finally breaking into the top ten with the help of more than 600 machines no being used in hubs (making it the most popular SLA or DLP 3D printer out there).

While New York’s reign as biggest 3D printing city with 362 machines is unaffected (Los Angeles is just under 300) , the ranking of top print cities does contain some interesting changes. In particular, the French capital city of Paris is now the biggest growing hub in the world, with 13.4% MoM over the last month.

The distribution data for 3D printers, meanwhile, changed little over the past month. The top five for model distribution has remained the same, though the Prusa i3 is slowly gaining on top dog Ultimaker 2. Outside the top five, the Form1+ is growing at a remarkable rate of 20.9% - taking the sixth spot. But when we look at manufacturer Distribution, all RepRap machines combined still rule the roost with 15.8% of all machines being RepRap. Ultimaker and MakerBot are competing over the second spot, with MakerBot keeping a small lead.

When looking at most popular 3D printers per region, a few changes have occurred outside of North America. ‘The Ultimaker 2 and the Prusa i3 increased their market share in Europe, while the Zortrax M200 entered the top 5, 3D Hubs reveal, while in Asia the Replicator 2X is losing ground to the FlashForge Creator Pro and the Zortrax M200.

Finally, what is happening with the actual orders made through 3D Hubs? In that respect, little has changed in terms of average order value, as Scale Models still constitute the highest value, but in terms of numbers the Prototyping and Hobby/DIY prints are only growing in size. Most, evidently are also 3D printed in white or black filaments, as more than half of all prints ordered through 3D Hubs are in those colors. Once again, the complete 3D printing trends report is very illustrative and insightful, especially for people thinking about getting a new 3D printer or working with a new hub in their area. For more, check it out here



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Rich wrote at 10/15/2015 10:53:21 AM:

I run a 3D print business and our 2 Robox printers are better than the UM2 and while the Prusa Steel was good it is usually (currently) broken. If you are having trouble with your Robox just get it sorted, the warranty is bloody good.

Matt wrote at 10/14/2015 3:24:47 PM:

Cel Robox on 3rd place? Is it an orginised PR? This printer may look pretty but the quality of the prints is like from 2013 RepRaps.

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