3D Hubs Releases Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report for September 2015

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3D-Hubs-logo-verticalIt’s all in the details. The statistical details that is. Add some colorful graphs, and when it comes to finding out what’s new in the 3D printing industry, we’re gobbling it up greedily on a monthly basis–and apparently the rest of the world is too. This is one report that’s interesting to read because we get to see what peers are 3D printing on, what they are making–and where they are doing it–nearly everywhere.

For the September 3D Hubs Trend Report, there are a few little shuffles in the lineup as well as a couple of surprises, which are the best part. 3D Hubs also reports that they are up another 1,000 3D printers this month for their community, totaling 21,000 now. The community has 3D printers whirring away in over 450 countries, and this month, some new countries join the list:

  • Barbados
  • Mauritius
  • Iceland
  • Bosnia
  • Herzegovina
  • Liberia

First, we like to check out the central focus, and that’s in the main hardware. Who’s using what at the desktop, and which do they rate with highest quality? 3D Hubs gives us the top 20 out of 450 users. For now, it’s still the Prusa Steel and the Rapide Lite 200 3D printers for highest quality. The top four are neck in neck–and the CEL Robox at the fifth spot just climbed there, coming up several rungs. Others in the news: The Afinia H480 climbed up to #7 from #11.

“Makergear’s M2 also made a return, making it not only a top choice for printer owners, but customers of 3D printed products as well,” points out the 3D Hubs team.

Printer Quality Ratings (1)

On the industrial side, the Objet Eden 260 held up in first place, still, and nothing changed on the list except that the Object Eden’s five star rating was chipped away at slightly, taking it down to 4.98.

One of the areas we find most significant of course, is what’s going on in the trending printers.

Trending PrintersIn an industry that’s continually evolving, with a wide range of new equipment entering the marketplace, we like to check out the up-and-comers. This month, not much is new though. While still holding first and second place, the M3D and the Ultimaker 2 have switched places, and they are nearly tied at only one percentage point apart in terms of popularity in usage.

Top Print Cities_0Where are we doing the most 3D printing? Well, New York, New York still can’t be beat when it comes to a thriving maker community. Los Angeles trails not too far behind in second place, and it’s nice to see that London has not just tied with Milan but, as 3D Hubs points out, may advance a rung above shortly. They are also happy to point out from 3D Hubs headquarters that their home city of Amsterdam takes the prize as fastest growing city for 3D printing activity.

Printer Model DistributionFrom where we sit watching and reporting on a daily basis, it’s certainly not a surprise to see the Ultimaker 2 in the top spot for hardware distribution, with 1500 printing locations.

The Prusa i3 is following closely in its footsteps, rapidly closing the gap between the two. The Zortrax M200 is also coming up at #8, and if it keeps up this speed it will soon overtake the Form 1+. For 3D printer manufacturer distribution, RepRap remains to be beat.

Popular Printers by Region_0In checking out the most popular 3D printers by region, the MakerBot Replicator 2 makes itself known everywhere, but only tops the list in North America, while climbing in South America. The biggest news is that the Zortrax M200 arrived on the list for Asia, as #5.

And for the fun part: what are people 3D printing? Topping the list would be 3D printed prototypes, no surprise, with hobbyist and DIY priorities coming in next. There aren’t any surprises in this area, although the top two categories grew a bit, while the others diminished slightly. In terms of what 3D printing enthusiasts are spending on their orders, it’s reported that scale models, hobby/DIY, household and art/fashion 3D prints increased, while the average amount spent for prototypes went down just slightly.

Popular Print CategoriesWith black and white 3D prints still ruling, taking market share for over 50 percent of 3D prints, the demand for 3D prints in black rose again this month.

If you are interested in participating in some local 3D printing events within your general area–or a city you might be visiting in September–check out the calendar from 3D Hubs.

What are your thoughts on these charts? Does anything surprise you in particular about what types of 3D printers are being used, and where? Discuss in the September 3D Hubs Printing Trends Report forum thread over at 3DPB.

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