Jun 3, 2015 | By Simon

Considering the rapid pace in which the 3D printing community moves through nearly every new idea ranging from the latest Kickstarter campaign for a “revolutionary new 3D printer” to the range of possibilities that can be done with a new type of filament and more, it can be truly difficult to keep track of these market trends.  Thankfully, the 3D printing service 3D Hubs has been actively keeping track of all of this over the past year and have been sharing their findings in the form of monthly “3D Printing Trends” reports.

The reports, which feature everything from “Most Wanted 3D Printers” to “Manufacturer Loyalty” and “Top 3D Printing Cities” to “Highest Rated 3D Printers”, are an excellent resource for nearly anybody that has an interest in 3D printing; whether you’re a noob who is wondering which 3D printer to buy or a seasoned veteran with miles of filament under your belt.  The reports are based on data from the 3D Hubs community, which includes over 17,000 printers in over 150 countries, and thousands of 3D print orders every month.  

For the company’s June 2015 3D Printing Trends report - which came out today - a new addition has been made to the report that asks customers who they turn to as their favorite source for finding 3D models.  Unsurprisingly, MakerBot’s Thingiverse topped the list as the most popular content platform with over 56% of the votes.  Coincidentally, 3D Hubs and Thingiverse have recently found success in offering those who don’t own a 3D printer the ability to 3D print any file from the content platform using the 3D Hub network.  Whether this contributed to that factor or not is up for discussion, but it probably didn’t hurt.  Google followed in second place which reveals that many don’t even bother heading to a specified 3D model sharing platform at all to find what they’re looking for; they let Google do all of the hard work.   

As for the more traditional trend report topics, the Kossel XL 3D printer took the gold medal as the overall Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printer followed by the DeltaWASP and the Zortrax M200.  For industrial 3D printers, the Objet Eden 260 topped the list followed by the Projet 3500 HDMax and the Projet 460Plus.

While the Kossel XL is surely a crowd-pleaser, it’s not without its competitors that just might beat it out for the next trend report; currently trending are the BEETHEFIRST, the Prusa i3 Hephestos and the Printrbot Metal Plus 3D printers.  The Portugal-based BEETHEFIRST 3D printer has seen a growth of over 160% in just the last month alone.  

When it comes to the top 3D printing cities, not much has changed and it is closely related to a convergence of population, industry and existing 3D printing infrastructures.  For the month of June, New York City tops the list followed by Los Angeles and Milan.

As for 3D printer model distribution across the world, the Ultimaker 2 tops the list followed by Prusa i3 and the MakerBot Replicator 2.  These are also the top-selling 3D printers in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.  All of the top 7 positions have remained the same since May while the increasingly popular Zortrax M200 moved up the chart significantly in the top 10.  Perhaps what’s most exciting for 3D Hubs however, is that their number of international printing locations on the platform has breached 17,000, with more than 1000 new 3D printers alone added during the month of May.  

Finally - and perhaps one of the most important questions of them all - is what people are actually using their 3D printers for.  According to the report, scale model replicas and prototypes for hardware development and DIY projects top the list and are most often printed in black or white filaments.  

With so many new developments in the additive manufacturing industry happening on a seemingly daily basis, who knows what next month might bring?  



Posted in 3D Printing Services


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Craig from AR wrote at 6/4/2015 6:44:32 PM:

If you click the link and look at the actual prints of each the ratings are wayyyy out of whack. So is it a matter of bias or name recognition? I think so.

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