3D Hubs’ 3D Printing Trend Report for Q4 2017 Shows Shifts in Industrial Usage, Top Cities


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Every quarter, the global 3D Hubs network releases an extensive 3D printing industry report on the latest trends, covering materials, printers, manufacturers, and even the cities and countries creating the most 3D prints. The 3D Hubs 3D Printing Trends report is based on data from 6,000 active international service providers. 3D Hubs often changes the report up, adding or removing categories, but as we look at 3D Printing Trends Q4/2017, just released and available for download today, that doesn’t seem to be the case this time around. However, that’s not to say that everything has stayed the same this quarter.

According to 3D Hubs, “Q4 in the 3D Printing Industry has been a busy one with HP moving into metal 3D printing, Prusa Research launching their new MK3 Printer and 3D Hubs partnering with material manufacturer DSM to bring rapid tooling to engineers all over the world. This quarter we look back at July, August and September to find out which machines have been the most popular, where they’re being used and with which technologies.”

Starting with the Highest Rated Industrial Printers, the ProJet 3500 HDMax is still in the lead, with the Formiga P 100 making an appearance in the number two spot and the iSLA-650 Pro jumping up from seventh to third place from last quarter; all three have perfect printer quality ratings of 5.00. SLS technology is still strong, though Material Jetting is right on its heels, and HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology has entered the fray.

The Highest Rated Industrial 3D Printers

“Another notable new entrant is HP’s new machine the Jet Fusion 3D 4200 showcasing its Multi Jet Fusion technology with a respectable #9 with a 4.75 rating,” the report reads.

Speaking of MJF, it’s now the second most used industrial machine on 3D Hubs, with an output of 2,952 prints on the network; pretty impressive for a new technology that first became available on 3D Hubs in June. SLS 3D printers now make up 70% of the list, with the PolyJet technology of the Objet Connex500 and the Objet30 Pro rounding out the top 10.

The Most Used Industrial Printers

The 3D Hubs team said, “EOS is continually investing in metal 3D printing so it’ll be interesting to see whether we begin to see their DMLS machines enter the list.”

In terms of the Highest Rated Desktop printers, Prusa 3D printers are now in the top two places, with the Zortrax M200 down one spot. As for the rest of the top five, the Form 2 has moved up to the number four spot with a 4.87 Print Quality Rating, as the FlashForge Creator Pro shifts to number five. The Makergear M2 has a strong showing as well at a solid number six.

The Highest Rated Desktop Printers

“The popular Creality CR-10 that appeared in Q3’s trending machines makes its debut at #7 having received 145 customer reviews,” said the 3D Hubs team. “Ultimaker is the most present manufacturer on the list, completing the top ten with machines ranked at #8, #9 and #10.”

The Form 2 and the Original Prusa i3 MK2 have switched places on the Most Used Desktop Printers list, only the second time this category has existed. The Form 2 is still the only SLA printer on both of the desktop lists, though with a lower number of print jobs from last quarter. The FlashForge Creator Pro is holding steady at number three, while the Ultimaker 3 Extended and the Original Prusa i3 MK2S are both making their first appearances in the number four and five spots, respectively.

The Most Used Desktop Printers

“The Ultimaker 3 Extended enters the list for the first time at #4 with close to 6,000 prints made, doubling the output of the Ultimaker 3 from Q3 which finished with 2,256 prints made,” said 3D Hubs.

A lot has changed in this quarter’s Trending 3D Printers, with the Wanhao Duplicator 7 coming in first with 166.7% quarter-over-quarter growth and the Original Prusa i3 MK2S in third; the only thing in the top five that’s stayed the same is the Creality CR-10 at number two, with 86.7% growth. Both the Ultimaker 3 and the Tevo Tarantula are up in the list at number four and five.

Trending 3D Printers

3D Hubs explains, “Trending Printers in Q4 hasn’t seen the four figure growth numbers of trend reports past, in large part due to the 3D Hubs waiting list now online to help manage supply numbers geographically in relation to demand.”

Ultimaker continues to reign supreme in Printer Manufacturer Distribution, though Prusa Research is gaining on it. Formlabs has moved up to the number three spot with 5.2% total market share, and MakerBot and FlashForge are neck and neck at 4.90%.

Printer Manufacturer

“With the release of the Original Prusa i3 MK3 and Ultimaker’s continually popular Ultimaker 3 series it will be interesting to see how the gap at the top changes in Q1 after the winter months,” said the 3D Hubs team.

In terms of Printer Model Distribution, while the Original Prusa i3 MK2 is still in the lead, the Form 2 has moved up, knocking the Ultimaker 2, the Zortrax M200, and the FlashForge Creator Pro each down one place.

“The Form 2 takes the silver medal this quarter moving up two places, finishing in its highest position ever with 3.8% of the active machines listed,” 3D Hubs said.

The Original Prusa i3 is only the top pick for two regions now, down from five last quarter, and the FlashForge Creator Pro is number one in South America and the Asia-Pacific region.

According to 3D Hubs, “North America remains largely unchanged apart from the appearance of the MK2S creeping into the top 5 at #5, chasing down its predecessor.”

SLS has now become the most used industrial 3D printing process, while PLA and ABS are still the most popular materials, and black is still beating white for color distribution.

“The FDM Color Distribution has seen an even bigger gap appear between black and white,” 3D Hubs reported. “Of all the prints submitted on 3D Hubs 55% are either black 36% or white 19%.”

The biggest announcement this quarter comes in the Top Print Cities, as London has finally overtaken New York in the #1 spot. More changes abound as Paris is now down to number five, with Dallas and Melbourne respectively holding the number three and four spots.

No big surprise, but the US is still number one in terms of Top Print Countries, with the UK and the Netherlands still in second and third place and Australia and Germany rounding out the top five.

3D Hubs has seen some trouble lately as the community hasn’t responded well to recent changes in policy with the automated selection feature that weren’t communicated directly to hub owners. With several thousand linked local manufacturing hubs, and the growth of 3D printing technologies available on the market, we’ll be watching to see how future situations in balancing updates geared toward customers and toward hub owners are handled.

You can learn more by checking out the Q4 3D Printing Trends here. 3D Hubs users who are logged in can just enter their email address to receive the report in their inbox.

What do you think about this quarter’s trends? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.


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