3D Hubs Q2 2018 Trend Report Expands Beyond 3D Printing to Digital Manufacturing


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The global 3D Hubs network publishes its interesting and useful 3D printing trend reports to offer an inside look at the industry. These extensive industry reports compile data from 6,000 active service providers around the world about the most popular 3D printers, materials, and manufacturers, among others.

Often, 3D Hubs will change the report up by adding or dropping categories: in its trend report for Q1 2018, its new CNC service was highlighted, while numbers for 3D printer manufacturer and 3D printer model distribution were dropped. But this quarter, there’s an even bigger change.

The Q2-2018 trend report is the first iteration of the new Digital Manufacturing Trends by 3D Hubs, as the network has been steadily expanding its range of available manufacturing technologies.

“With 3D Hubs evolving into a manufacturing platform beyond just 3D printing, it’s time we also reflected that in our quarterly report,” 3D Hubs’ Digital Manufacturing Trends report states.

“3D printing will maintain its prominence in the report, you’ll just get access to broader insights into Digital Manufacturing with data on such technologies as CNC Machining and Injection Molding as 3D Hubs expands its range of manufacturing technologies.”

The report just launched this morning, and is available for download; 3D Hubs users who are logged in can simply enter their email address to get the report in their inbox. Categories like Trending Printers, Printer Model Distribution, and Printer Manufacturer Distribution are now featured.

Highest Rated Industrial Printers

Starting with the Highest Rated Industrial Printers, SLS technology is still in the lead. The Formiga P 100 has moved up into the top spot, and the iSLA-650 Pro, in first place last quarter, has been knocked down to fifth with a 4.92 quality rating. The Objet30 Prime has moved up to third from tenth last quarter, while the EOSINT P 760 has gone up one spot to number four.

“HP has shown its dominance as the #2 highest rated industrial machine by customers receiving parts made by its Jet Fusion 4200 machine as well as doubling its output from 2,500 parts made in Q1 to 5,087 in Q2,” 3D Hubs Communications Manager George Fisher-Wilson told 3DPrint.com.

Most Used Industrial Printers

Moving on to Most Used Industrial Printers, SLS technology continues to reign supreme, and the top three models – HP’s MJF 3D 4200, the Formiga P 110, and the SPro 230 – have stayed the same since last quarter. The Formiga P 100 has risen to number four, nearly doubling its number of prints since last quarter, and the EOS P 396 is now in the number five slot.

Highest Rated Desktop Printers

“From a desktop standpoint, there are two clear winners with Prusa Research and Ultimaker making up 6 out of the 10 spots,” Fisher-Wilson tells us. “With the desktop FDM market share increases for both parties, this control of the Top 10 could become even more pronounced.”

As usual, the Highest Rated Desktop Printers category is seeing some shake-ups. The Ultimaker 2+ is in the number one spot, and the Original Prusa i3 MK2S climbed the ranks from number eight to number two. Last quarter’s number three spot, the Original Prusa i3 MK2, is down to number four, and has been replaced by the Form 2, while the Zortrax M200 is down from fourth to fifth.

Most Used Desktop Printers

The Form 2 and Original Prusa i3 MK2 continue their battle for Most Used Desktop printer, as the latter is back on top with an increase of over 5,800 prints since last quarter.

Fisher-Wilson tells us, “The Prusa Research MK2 becomes the most used on the platform creating 15.087 parts with many suppliers on 3D Hubs now using multiples of this machine for bulk production.”

The FlashForge Creator Pro remains in third place, while the Original Prusa i3 MK2S has moved up to number four from number seven, and the Creality CR-10 makes its way not only into the top ten, but also the top five, with 4,510 prints.

Most Used Technologies

Unsurprisingly, FDM continues to be at the top for Most Used Technologies, even rising two percentage points. SLA + DLP and SLS + MJF are hanging on at number two and three, but there’s been a bit of a shake-up in the bottom end.

“CFF has dropped out of the The Most Used Technologies list with Material Jetting and Metal Sintering finishing #4 and #5 respectively,” the report states. “This sudden omission could be down to the improvement in strength of thermoplastics available on FDM machines, a close rival.”

Most Used Materials

In terms of Most Used Materials, variety is simpler now, thanks to the addition of the generic term “Standard” to denote that suppliers are listing their materials to include all variants. The top five have stayed the same, with Standard PLA and Standard ABS in the top two, but PA 12, at 12% usage, has knocked Standard Resin down to number four, while Standard PETG remains at number five with 4%.

Black and white continue to hold onto their top two rankings in FDM Color Distribution, and the only noteworthy change in this category is the addition of Natural.

Top Print Cities

“The chase for the title of #1 Top Print City is hotting up with New York maintain top position with 2.7% but London at #2 gained 0.5% market share growing to 2.4%,” Fisher-Wilson told 3DPrint.com.

San Francisco is holding steady at number three, while Los Angeles switched places with Amsterdam, which dropped from 1.2% usage to 0.9%.

For Top Print Countries, the US, the UK, and Canada remain in the top three.

“The USA though has lost nearly 3% of its total share with 2% going to the UK moving from 11.1% to 13.2% making the gap a tiny bit smaller,” the report states.

As for the new Digital Manufacturing part of the report, Aluminum 6061 is far and away the Most Used CNC Material at 56.2%.

The report says, “Stainless Steel 304 drops from 12.6% to 11.6% but keeps its place at #2, a more expensive material to machine but offering high strength with high temperature and chemical resistance.”

For Most Used Finishes, 77.6% of respondents leave their parts as machined, with a standard surface roughness (Ra) of 3.2 μm, while bead blasting and anodized color are in the number two and three spots.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.


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