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3D Hubs: 3D Printing Trends Q3 2017 Offer New Categories & Industry Insights

ST Medical Devices

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There are certainly plenty of reports within the 3D printing realm—or any industry for that matter—that are pretty dry reading. 3D Hubs manages to make hardware, materials, and geography darned interesting though, and enough so that I look forward to it. Previously it was a monthly treat, but as of last summer 3D Hubs announced their 3D Printing Trends Report would become quarterly. And so it goes, as we take a look at their third quarter findings and insights in 3D Printing Trends Q3/2017.

Part of what makes this now-quarterly report so captivating is that 3D Hubs is constantly adding to it, sometimes offering permanent new categories, and other times those that are relevant at a particular time. 3D Hubs offers data from 7,000 active international service providers 3D printing over 200,000 parts each quarter, and this time we see changes reflecting how they are collecting data.

“This quarter changes have been made to the data collected and analyzed for the 3D Printing Trends. Firstly, Printer Ratings data is no longer historic, it’s based only on the previous quarter. This means more relevant and higher quality data, that really represents the here and now of the 3D printing industry. Secondly, the most used printers are displayed, showcasing the machines that are creating the most prints globally. Thirdly, only online printers are being factored into the data, meaning 3D printing services which have the status online on the platform. Lastly the most used materials, technologies and colors in the industry are broken down,” states the 3D Hubs team.

The Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printers category shows a few shakeups this quarter. While the Original Prusa i3 is still in first place, the rest of the top five is transformed, with plenty of change in the top ten as well (check out last quarter here for comparison of all ten). Going in order for the rest of the top five, we also see the very popular Zortrax M200, the Original Prusa i3 MK2S, the FlashForge Creator Pro, and the re-emergence of the LulzBot TAZ 5.

The Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printers

The Most Used Desktop 3D Printers category is new this quarter, featuring the following in the top five: Form 2 (17,292 prints), Original Prusa i3 MK2 (14,518 prints), FlashForge Creator Pro (6,729 prints), Ultimaker 2 (5,275 prints), and the Ultimaker 2+ (3,957 prints).

Most Used Desktop 3D Printers

“The only SLA/DLP printer in the top 10 list takes #1. This is due in part thanks to FDM’s far wider printer model spread across the platform, meaning there are far more FDM machines currently available on the market,” states 3D Hubs.

The Highest Rated Industrial 3D Printers shows the ProJet 3500 HDMax still holding tight in first. The EOSINT P 395 has emerged in second, with the Vanguard moved now to third place, the Objet Connex500 making a splash in fourth, and the EOS P 396 marking the fifth spot.

The Highest Rated Industrial Printers

“Interesting to highlight is the first Industrial SLA machine the iSA-650 Pro, making the top 10, with a 4.83,” states the 3D Hubs team. “This quarter SLS technology dominates the list, making up 50%, in part thanks to the success of EOS being the most prolific manufacturers with 4 printer models listed.”

For Most Used Industrial Printers, we see another new category, featuring the following in the top five: Vanguard (3,847 prints), Formiga P 110 (3,406 prints), Projet 3000 HD (2,891 prints), Projet 3500 HDMax (2,022 prints), and the sPro 60 (1,583 prints).

The Most Used Industrial Printers

“A notable mention goes to the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200, which was launched 30 days ago and created over 400 prints,” states 3D Hubs, following the recent announcement of availability for the new technology.

Trending printers is always my favorite category, as I like to note the up-and-comers. This quarter we see quite the usurper in first, as the Original Prusa i3 MK2S wins #1 with a staggering 1970 percent growth. The Creality CR-10 is in second with 1011 percent growth. The Maker Select V2 comes in at third, with the ANET 3D – A8 at fourth, and the Wanhao Duplicator i3 PLUS at fifth.

Trending 3D Printers

Printer Manufacturer Distribution shows the power of Ultimaker. At #1, they lead over Prusa Research, MakerBot, FlashForge, and Formlabs.

“Moving from historic to online printer data has caused a dramatic change in Manufacturer Distribution. Previously all printers were taken into account for the data, now only online hubs who are active are taken into account,” states 3D Hubs.

Printer Model Distribution shows ‘dramatic’ change. The Original Prusa i3 MK2 is in first with 443 hubs. After that we see the Ultimaker 2, Zortrax M200, Form 2, and the FlashForge Creator Pro.

“The market is squeezing, with the majority of printer models losing some market share,” explains 3D Hubs. “Lots of the manufacturers listed have now released new machines so this is in some part to be expected. Ultimaker released their Ultimaker 3 series, Makerbot’s new Replicator+, and Zortrax with the M300.”

Popular Printers by Region shows us that the 3D Hubs data update has caused some other changes. The Original Prusa i3 is the top five for six of the regions, while the Ultimaker remains in first for Europe.

“The Zortrax M200 proves popular in Africa and Central America at #1, two new regions featured,” states 3D Hubs.

The Most Used Technologies category features FDM first, and then SLA and DLP. Most used materials shows, not surprisingly, ABS and PLA as the most popular materials of choice—although PLA is used twice as much as ABS. And for color distribution, we get to make the dramatic announcement that black has surpassed white.

“The plausible reason for this is that most prototypes built, tend to be in neutral colors. The two most often purchased by a 3D printing service tend to be black and white due to this, making it a self sustaining cycle,” states 3D Hubs.

The Top Print Cities have not changed much, with New York City still in first (of course!). Next come London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Los Angeles. This quarter we also see San Jose and Portland. The Top Print Countries category hows the US in first, with everyone else trailing far behind. The UK, the Netherlands, Canada, and Australia round out the top five.

Top Print Cities

Take a closer look at the Q3 3D Printing Trends here. If you’re already a 3D Hubs user logged in, just enter your email and the report will be sent straight to your inbox. We hope you’ll check back next quarter for the Q4 2017 results.

Discuss in the 3D Hubs forum at

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