logo-hubs-1One of the things we enjoy about the 3D Hubs 3D printing trends reports is that as they report data, they’ve mastered the art of keeping it interesting too. Even if there hasn’t been a huge change in 3D printing trends during some months, we can always look to 3D Hubs to add a new category or point out things we had not considered. Currently, we are still adjusting to their transition from monthly reports to quarterly, and they’ve had a name change as well. Now referred to as the ‘3D Printing Industry Trends,’ for Q3-2016 (July, August, September) we see that 3D Hubs has also included some new information most of you will probably be curious about in the ‘Distribution of Industry Spending’ category.

Offered as a spotlight on what businesses are spending in the 3D printing services arena, three charts show industry spending distribution, and average order values by industry and by company size. 3D Hubs points out that this type of information is actually usually only in ‘costly industry reports,’ but they are making it available to everyone at no cost. This information shows that when it comes to spending on 3D printing services, the top three industries are industrial design, architecture, and sensors and instruments, with the last spending the most at an average of $459 per order. According to the report, industries such as higher education and consumer goods are responsible for putting the least amount of cash into their orders, spending only $150 on the average.

“The average order values don’t depend much on company size for companies under 10,000 employees,” states 3D Hubs. “Above this number, average order values increase significantly.”

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And heading into the primary desktop category of ‘Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printers,’ we see a knockdown has occurred since last quarter, and that’s rather exciting as we’re dealing with first place where the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer had reigned for four months. Now, it’s been relegated to second place as the Original Prusa i3 MK2 takes the #1 spot.

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It’s always nice to see a bit of a shakeup in the ‘Highest Rated Industrial Printers’ category also. This tends to be a very stable area, not offering much in the way of change generally, but this quarter we do see that the Project 3500 HDMax is stealing number one—and not only that, it is the highest rated as well at 4.94. The Objet260 Connex is in second, and the Objet Eden260 has moved up to #3. Also dropping a bit is the Formiga P 110, down one spot to #7—but probably not for long as they have received 112 reviews since last quarter. With so much going on this quarter for a quiet category, we’ll be curious to see how the next report looks after December.

The ‘Trending Printers’ category for this quarter once again highlights the Original Prusa i3 MK2, and this bears a bit of discussion as the popular 3D printer is not only the first ever to top both the Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printers category and Trending Printers categories at the same time, but it is also trending at 720% QoQ (quarter on quarter)! There are also plenty of other changes as the Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2 takes second, and the new LulzBot TAZ 6 is in third, with the FlashForge Finder at four, and the Ultimaker 2+ in fifth.

What’s also of note in the top five for Trending Printers is the quarter on quarter growth for the FlashForge Finder (growing at 78.8%), Ultimaker 2+ (growing at 68.5%), and Ultimaker 2+ Extended (growing at 61.4%). Also interesting is that in this category, the BCN3D Sigma fell back three spots, although boasting a 62.2% QoQ growth.

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‘Top Print Cities’ may not change often either (when it does, that’s big!), but it’s still exciting to visualize so many makers busy 3D printing all over in big cities such as New York, Paris, and Amsterdam. This quarter all is quiet. As 3D Hubs points out, however, autumn is always a big time for events, so make sure to keep up with their events calendar, keeping you up to date on 3D printing happenings in hubs around the world.

The ‘Printer Model Distribution’ category shows the Prusa i3 on top with 2,800 printers, and some movement as the Robo 3D R1 moves up, knocking XYZprinting’s da Vinci 1.0 down a spot. This is the same scenario for the Makergear M2 and the Rostock MAX as well. For this quarter, we also see the Form 2 on this list. ‘Printer Manufacturer Distribution’ shows little change, with Ultimaker still in the lead.

‘Popular Printers by Region’ is also usually an eye-opener as we are allowed to get beyond what’s happening in our own areas in terms of printer popularity and see what the rest of the world prefers to use. For this quarter, the Prusa i3 seems to be serving as the workhorse for all regions, moving to #1 in both North America and Europe, and remaining so in other places.

The ‘Color Distribution’ category remains neutral, literally, as the toggling between black and white seems to have settled on white for the past two quarters, allowing that it is in the top position now with a distribution of 29.7 percent.

While 3D Hubs reports that they (this is a first!) have not added any 3D printers this quarter, leaving them at the impressive number of 32,000 3D printers on their platform, they have also just added Aruba into their network. For information on previous releases, see the list of archived links at the end of their report. Discuss further in the 3D Hubs 3D Printing Industry Trends forum over at 3DPB.com.

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