3D Hubs provides a wonderful service to all who are interested in the world of 3D printing. Each month they give us an enlightening snapshot of trends within their own network, offering information for the larger picture of 3D printing—and what’s popular—overall. We’ll be saying goodbye to our monthly reports, however, as 3D Hubs has now decided to move to a quarterly format, mainly as a way to offer more impact within each cycle rather than showing what are sometimes just simple 30-day fluctuations. 3D Hubs also states that this will allow for greater analysis, as well as the opportunity to add richer content. So as the June information expires and we move into a summer of 3D printing, the Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report for July 2016 will also serve to mark the third quarter, leaving us to wait until the next.
In comparison to June, the July 3D Hubs report shows a fairly sleepy summer marching on as there are no startling changes, except for the fact that the network of 3D printers has now grown to over 32,000 printers in 150 countries. This shows an increase of 1,500 printers in just 30 days, which makes quite a statement in terms of ongoing strengthening—around the globe.
As desktop 3D printing has become so mainstream, it becomes a great topic of interest to find out what everyone else is using, and what hardware is climbing to the top—or staying firmly planted there, which would be the case for the BCN3D Sigma, rocking the ‘Highest Rated Desktop Printers’ category. We’ve watched this 3D printer maintain first place for four months now, plus increasing ratings to 4.88 with a total of 200 customer reviews now. That’s certainly good news for this brand, manufactured by BCN3D Technologies, headquartered in Barcelona.
Again, the Form 2 takes the silver, notably as the only SLA 3D printer in the lineup for the top 20 in this category. And while it’s of interest to note the popularity of these 3D printers, indeed it does make for a bit of a quiet report as bronze remains the same too, with the PowerSpec 3D Pro, which 3D Hubs refers to as a ‘Replicator 3 offspring.’ Said to offer great results, you can purchase that particular printer for under $1,000.
In some minor notes, we see the Rostock Max V2 at #4, and the Ultimaker 2+ ascending two rungs to take #12. At #18 is the Rigidbot, famous for its very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, raising about $1.1 million. The modular printer is known for its sturdiness and expandable design, along with its pricetag—just under $600.
It’s quiet this month in the ‘Highest Rated Industrial Printers’ category also, with the ProJet 460Plus continuing in first, the Projet 3500 HDMax in second, and the Objet260 Connex remaining in third again this month. A couple of variations did show up in this category for July, with the Formiga P 110 rising up a rung to #6. They have also, notably, added over 60 new reviews since June. And last, the EOSINT P 395 is now at #10 after dislodging the P 760.
The ‘Trending Printers’ category always offers energy and insight into the future, and this month does not disappoint, showing lots of action.
“Ultimakers just keep trending!” states 3D Hubs. “The Ultimaker 2+ Extended takes the crown amongst the trending printers again, growing a strong 54.1% MoM.”
Stats for July trending printers (and it’s all about the Ultimaker, it would seem) are as follows:
- Ultimaker 2 is in first
- Ultimaker 2+ is in second
- Ultimaker 2 Go hits #10
- Formlabs’ Form 2 takes third, remaining in the top five for seven months
- Cubicon Single appears in fifth place
- BCN3D Sigma falls back two spots, just out of the top three now
- Stratasys’ uPrint SE Plus FDM printer climbed up 23 spots to #8
While the ‘Top Print Cities’ category usually tends to remain the same, every now and then we see a toppling, as in this month, with Paris taking Milan’s #4 spot. Everyone else is status quo, with New York of course keeping its #1 spot for the world, and Los Angeles and London just behind.
“The fastest growing city this month was Amsterdam, growing a strong 7.8% MoM,” states 3D Hubs.
In the ‘Printer Model Distribution’ category, the Prusa i3 has made some history as they reach the 2500 printer milestone, taking a big lead in front of the Ultimaker 2. The Flashforge Creator Pro also moved up two spots, claiming #7.
In the ‘Printer Manufacturer Distribution’ category, Ultimaker is the golden child once again. Not only do they have the most 3D printers in the 3D Hubs network, they are now extending their lead even further ahead of MakerBot, still in #2. Formlabs reached a milestone this month, with over 1000 printers in the network now. They also moved up to #6 in the popularity contest, knocking Printrbot down a notch.
Color distribution for 3D printing is still all black and white—with black 3D printing filament edging up.
- In North America, the Prusa i3 moves into second place, ready to challenge the Replicator 2.
- In Europe, the Prusa i3 and the Zortrax M200 increase relative market share.
- In Asia, the Ultimaker fell back, while the Prusa i3 increased market share.
- South America showed a loss for all of their top five in terms of relative market share.
That’s a wrap for the July report, and keep in mind that you won’t see it again until early fall. As always, be sure to check out the monthly events calendar too from 3D Hubs to see what’s happening near you. With summer in full swing, there’s a lot happening—around the world. Discuss further in the 3D Hubs Monthly 3D Printing Trends Report forum over at 3DPB.com.