The excitement of the holidays may have passed, but–as predicted–the 3D printing industry is already gearing up for a year that is anything but ho hum. Before one can even pluck the ornaments off the tree and sweep up the still fragrant pine needles, we see a new lineup of products coming out nearly everywhere we turn. This is of course certainly evident right now with the outpouring of new releases and concepts being exhibited at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, as well as others being announced in numerous press releases from a wide range of companies ready to get rolling with the next twelve months.
New machines, concepts, and plans are exciting, but there’s nothing more telling than numbers–and that’s what we look forward to from 3D Hubs each month. And the Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report for January 2016 comes right out the gate with a surprise in what’s always the most telling category for desktops with ‘Highest Rated 3D Printers.’ The PowerSpec 3D Pro has risen straight to the #1 spot, all the way from #9 in December–and knocking the Prusa Steel down to silver. Another ‘climber’ takes #3 in the form of the Afinia H480, which ascended two spots. The Robox clings to number four, and the Form 1 fills out the top five.
3D Hubs has also dressed up the report for the new year with a new category. ‘Popular Materials’ indicates the average order value for common 3D printing materials. Not surprisingly, plastics are responsible for the least expensive orders. 3D Hubs reports that the average ABS order is $34.30, while the average PLA order is $31.40. Resin prints show an average of $50.70 per order.
In terms of industrial 3D printing materials, SLS nylon comes in around $80, with PolyJet high detail prototyping materials at $93.4. Also on the list is full color sandstone, with the average order at $100. As a note, this month also shows that for colors, white is the dominant print with an increase of 28.2%.
The ‘Highest Rated Industrial Printers’ list is usually a bit more consistent, and this month is no exception as we see the Objet Eden260 retaining the top spot, with the ProJet 460Plus and the Projet 3500 HDMax in second and third. We do see the 3DS ProJet 660 claiming #4, however, along with a newcomer, as the EOSINT P 760 jumps into the mix–and straight to #5.
While the ‘Trending Printers’ category does not pack a huge punch this month, what we do see is that the Form 2 is in first place, unsurprisingly.
“It’s only been on the market for a few months and now the new Form 2 becomes our Nr.1 trending printer, with a stellar 133.3% growth,” states 3D Hubs. “We expect it to remain on this list for a while if it manages to live up to its predecessors.”
The LulzBot TAZ 5, on the list for several months now, climbed to the #2 spot, with the Duplicator I3 taking bronze, and showing a considerable growth, at 20%. What’s most notable is that the CraftBot climbed a whopping 18 rungs on the list to sit at #6.
While ‘Top Printing Cities’ may not appear to have any changes in hierarchy, behind the scenes 3D Hubs notes that the top city, New York, has reached 400 hubs (and notably, that’s how many McDonald’s are in NYC as well). Chicago shows the most rapid growth, and with a curious eye on Canada, we see that Toronto is indeed still holding on to that #9 spot.
Under ‘Printer Model Distribution,’ 3D Hubs advises everyone to take heed as there is actually a pretty significant change in this category with the Prusa i3 overtaking the Ultimaker 2 after its nine-month hold. Also climbing–the Zortrax M200 is now at #5. MakerBot comes in as the frontrunner, with 3000 units under ‘Printer Manufacturer Distribution,’ with Ultimaker and 3D Systems following behind.
Checking out 3D printers by region, we see that North America remains the same, and while the MakerBot Replicator maintains a hold there–as well as in South America–it is being overtaken in other areas like Europe and Asia.
For 3D Hubs, we see more growth, as usual. This month, they have grown by 500 hubs, putting them at 25,000 total. And it’s very exciting to see some new areas joining in, as 3D Hubs points out that now you can 3D print in both bailiwicks of the Channel Islands, to include both Jersey and Guernsey. Discuss this recent report in the January 2016 3D Hubs Trends forum on 3DPB.com.