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3D Hubs Releases Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report for May 2016

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3D-Hubs-logo-vertical-1-1As late spring begins to border on summertime, makers are busier than ever—which means that 3D Hubs networks are busy pumping out models around the globe, and on a variety of different printers, whether at the desktop or industrially. Here at, we’re continually fascinated to hear from 3D Hubs as they allow us to get a monthly snapshot of trends in their networks in different international cities, as well as upcoming and current local events that may be near you. And if you are in Libya—take note—that’s the newest country to come on board with a hub.

As I mention over and over (hopefully you’re reading enough to notice), my favorite little morsel in each 3D Hubs Monthly Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report is the ever-present increase in cumulative hubs. This month, they’ve increased by 1,000 printers again, launching them up to 29,500 hubs spread out through 150 countries.

For the 3D Printing Trends Report for May 2016, insights from the 3D Hubs team into the ‘Highest Rated Desktop Printers’ category shows us that the BCN3D SIGMA still bears the crown in first, holding on. Formlabs, however, still seeing silver with the Form 2, has risen in ratings enough to garner attention. And again, the lineup remains the same for the top three, rounded out again by the affordable and popular PowerSpec 3D Pro.

desktop printers mayIt’s also quite something to see how far the ORD Bot Hadron ascended since last month, making its way into the top five, shooting up from #12 and taking a spot as the highest-rated kit. Not surprisingly however, the Zortrax M200 has now risen to the #4 spot. On the topic of kits, we also see two others in the top ten, represented by the Prusa Steel and the Kossel.

While we did see some movement in the ‘Industrial Printers’ category last month, it’s not all that often that we see a shakeup of any sort there. There must be something in the spring air, however, as for May also we see a disruption with Stratasys regaining their spot in first place with a new printer in place: the Objet260 Connex PolyJet. The ProJet 460Plus moved into second and the ProJet 3500 HDMax into third. Stratasys also got back in with the Dimension 1200es at #9.

The very popular Ultimaker 2+ remains at number one for the ‘Trending Printers’ category, which I’m glad to see—in the market for a printer, this one also remains at the top of my list as I shop (endlessly, it would seem). 3D Hubs also points out, again not a surprise, that the Ultimaker 2 is showing a tremendous MoM growth of 70.8%. For silver, we get to see a newbie, with the Rostock Max debuting at #2—and right behind that is the Prusa i3v 8″ resting in third after climbing up five rungs. The always stellar Form 2 is in #4, and the Prusa i3x3 Custom rounds out the top five.

Trending Printers_7Checking out cities and their number of hubs is always an interesting point in this report, but this month we see no change, except that New York is still picking up steam. For May, NYC shows an increase of 17 hubs. Milan was also in the ‘fastest growing’ category, showing a 4.3% MoM increase. And if you enjoy getting together with other makers in your area—or somewhere you might be traveling to this month—we highly recommend checking out the 3D Hubs events calendar to see what’s going on and what you might want to attend in May.

mayThe ‘Printer Model Distribution’ category tells us that the Prusa i3 is in the gold, ahead of the Ultimater 2. Zortrax has seen a climb in this category too, with their M200 ascending to the very respectable #4 after climbing over the Replicator 2. For ‘Printer Manufacturer Distribution,’ we see a lot of the same names each month, with Ultimaker still on top. Shaking things up a bit though, Flashforge, ever present, has overtaken Stratasys for #4.

Examining the ‘Popular Printers by Region’ category, it’s clear that MakerBot still has a very strong following, still in the lead in North America—and still seen in the top five for each region. The Prusa i3 has increased market share in North America, as well as in Europe with the Zortrax M200. We see both of these machines experiencing popularity in Asia too.

Color distribution showed that both black and white together account for 55% of all prints at hubs worldwide. And when it comes to the materials category, the 3D Hubs team reported that ABS order sizes increased over PLA, with resin orders falling back to $51.

“After last month’s decrease, the average price of nylon (SLS) orders got back to their previous level at $85.8,” states the 3D Hubs team. “Meanwhile, PolyJet orders have decreased to $88.7, closing in the gap between the two. Lastly, full color sandstone orders have still the highest value with $95.6.”

You can read this month’s full report here. While May was a bit of a quiet month, there were still some interesting points to consider in most categories. What grabbed your attention most in this report? Discuss in the 3D Hubs May 3D Printing Trends forum over at

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