On a monthly basis, 3D Hubs, the platform which connects 3D printer owners and hubs with people locally who need something printed, takes data they gather through their network of individuals and companies who use their service to create a trend report on all things “3D printing space.”
The trend report is pretty much a comprehensive outlook on the current state of the 3D printing industry. The data is drawn from the community that encompasses almost 13,000 printers in over 150 countries, thousands of 3D print orders every month, and many, many respondents.
For March, the Form 1+ continues to hold down the top spot in printer quality. The real surprise, the entry of the Zortrax M200 which is running a close second in the “prosumer” category, and the Objet Eden 260 holds down the top spot in the “industrial” category.
As for what’s trending, the Lulzbot’s Taz 4 is not only one of the highest rated 3D printers, it’s at the top in the trending printers rankings as well.
No real surprise here as New York City is a big place, but it did become the first city to reach 200 3D printing locations. Alongside other megalopolis-places like Milan, London, and Los Angeles, other design capitols like Paris and Amsterdam made the list.
The top of the printer model distribution list remains unchanged from the last report with the Replicator 2 and the Ultimaker 2 holding down the top slots. 3D Hubs says the Da Vinci 1.0 is making waves as well, and that device spent the last 6 months running up the trending printers category. In what might be a trend toward adopting SLA technology, the Form 1+ entered the top 10 as well.
It seems kit printers are making a move up the charts as witnessed by the fact that RepRap-based printers climbed up to snag the top spot from MakerBot. While RepRap may not be a “manufacturer” per se, 3D Hubs treats those devices as such for the purposes of their chart. In the future, the line up of Stratasys industrial printers and the MakerBot family of devices will be listed separately in reports.
As for popular printers by region, the Form 1+ is again on the move as it became the first SLA printer to appear in that category. If you take a look outside of North America, the top 5 remains the same when compared to last month, and the MakerBot Replicator 2 also holds down the top spot in Asia. The Prusa i3, one of the most widely used printers in the world, shows up near the top of all regions and takes the top slot in South America.
The holiday period was good to 3D Hubs as it was during that period that the company passed the 12,000 printer mark for listings taking part in their global platform. They say the standard is that some 200 new locations join their network each week.
It seems prototyping applications gained ground this month, but only by a touch, and the Art/Fashion and Scale model application areas decreased slightly.
Did you spot any unusual trends in the 3D Hubs statistics? Discuss on the 3DHubs Trend Report forum thread on 3DPB.com.