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3D-Hubs-logo-verticalDecember is upon us and holiday shopping is in session all around the world, making this month’s 3D Hubs Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report and its data something we hold even closer than usual.

The information I always like to check first is to see how the hubs have grown. This number just keeps going up, while last month the ‘Printer Listings’ category had grown with a respectable 500 printers, for this month 3D Hubs has added an impressive 1,000 printers to their network, putting it at 24,500. And that’s not all that has grown, as the report itself has added two new categories.

Recently we reported extensively on the 3D Hubs 2016 Printer Guide, which has been the impetus for adding ‘Most Wanted Printers’ as a category, where the new Form 2 is the clear standout, with the Ultimaker 2 and its larger Extended version coming in next. The 3D Hubs team points out with some interest as well that the Zortrax, which was the top Plug ‘n’ Play 3D printer in their printer guide, narrowly missed the top three–by only one vote. And it is not one bit surprising to see the LulzBot TAZ 5 in the top five as well.

Manufacturer-loyalty-and-Most-wanted-printers-charts---Trend-report-1You will also find ‘Manufacturer Loyalty’ as a new category for this month’s report, providing more helpful data if you are trying to decide what to put under the tree this year–or on the desktop for yourself. This is also a category of great interest for those of us who follow nearly all the companies in the 3D printing industry, and while we hear a lot about bells and whistles and successes, the numbers say it all in terms of which manufacturers have the most dedicated customer base.

Formlabs swoops into first place again, as 54.3% of current Form 1 or 1+ owners would pick the Form 2 as their next printer. Nearly 50% of LulzBot owners say they would choose the manufacturer’s products again, and CEL–maker of the Robox–comes in 3rd. Makergear and Zortrax round out the top five.

Examining the ‘Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printers’ category, we see that for December the Prusa Steel is still ruling. For second place though, the Kossel XL has jumped five rungs. The Zortrax M200 is in bronze, and the CEL Robox hits 4th.  We see the Afinia H480 in 5th place, and 3D Hubs points out ‘notable rising stars’ this month as the Kossel, Witbox, and the M2, staking its claim in the top 20 once again.

desktopWhile the top three continue to rule in ‘Industrial Printers,’ with the Objet Eden 260 remaining in the #1 spot, they point out that SLS printers such as the EOS and Formiga have made their way into the top ten with the advent of the new 3D Hubs HD, as they are ‘taking the quality of industrial 3D printing and making it locally accessible.’ This will be an interesting area to watch for growth and change.

The ‘Trending Printers’ category shows the Ultimaker 2 Extended taking first place again, and even adding over 33% MoM since November’s report. The Duplicator I3 takes second, and the UP Box, a 3D printer we are seeing more and more here, has entered into the top tier at #3. The Duplicator 5 and LulzBot TAZ 5 follow.

Trending Printers_2While there aren’t any surprises in the ‘Top Printing Cities’ category, we see that New York City continues to gain ground, and this month, Toronto still holds their place as the fastest growing, still at #9, and with 6.7% growth.

“December is going to be our biggest event month with the Global 3D Printing Day at 400+ locations,” states the 3D Hubs team. “Check out our calendar to find one close to you!”

In ‘Printer Model Distribution,’ not much has changed as we still see the Ultimaker 2 at the top. The ever popular Zortrax M200 is climbing though, and notable as it is close to sweeping past the original Ultimaker. For the ‘Printer Manufacturer Distribution,’ status quo remains with RepRap on top and the usual MakerBot and Ultimaker following.

‘Popular Printers by Region’ show a mild shakeup in South America where the top four lost market share, but the Ultimaker 2 held steady. North America remained steady, but the MakerBot Replicator 2 shows a loss from it’s relative market share. For Europe, the Prusa i3 and the Zortrax M200 increased their market share. The Prusa i3 showed the same progress in Asia, along with the FlashForge Creator Pro.

Popular Printers by Region_3Don’t forget to mark your calendar for December 3rd as 3D Hubs hosts their Global 3D Printing Day with a celebration of Hubs around the globe, all demonstrating ‘the power of digital manufacturing.’ The hope is that many around the world will have a new opportunity to check out what 3D printing is all about, and see the processes in action.

3D Hubs provides us the data for this report every month, allowing both experienced and prospective users to have a comprehensive view on what’s happening in 3D printing. This data is based on information coming directly from their 3D Hubs community.  Discuss the data in this report in the 3D Hubs’ December Report forum on 3DPB.com.

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