Trend Report April

This trend report provides provides a unique perspective on the current state of the 3D printing industry. Learn what the most popular printers, manufacturers and materials are. The report is based on the data of our 3D Hubs community with well over 4000 printer listings and thousands of 3D print jobs.

You can find the previous February, January, December and November releases in the archive.


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pngNew: Popular Print Categories

Average order price per category

Insights: Average order value per category

This month’s trend report has a new section: the average order price per category. This new chart has been added to give better insight in the order value as compared to the respective share in our orders.

The scale model section is topping the charts with an average value of $61,3. This can be explained by scale models, although of a smaller scale than the original are most often quite detailed and have a large build volume, sometimes consisting of multiple parts as well. Coming in on the second spot are the Art/Fashion projects. These projects vary from extremely large sculptures in ultra high resolution to medium sized figurines printed in a medium resolution. The prototype variety is mainly used by designers and can again vary from shoe designs on one hand to solid custom casings on the other hand.

Insights: Popular Print Categories

The spread of orders is the same as last trend report with the Prototype and Hobby/DIY sector still making up the majority of prints. Gadgets and Art/Fashion have shown a small increase of respectively 2,2 and 2,3 percentage point with Scale Models dropping with 3,8 percentage points.
pngTrending Printers

Insights: Trending Printers

And yet again the Ultimaker 2 tops the charts. The growth keeps on going at an impressive 70,8%, leaving the competition far behind. However, it is has to be noted that growth rate is this high partly because the Ultimaker 2 was recently released. The Leapfrog Creatr is the fastest rising star, coming in at 4th place. However, the MendelMax could not hold on to its popularity and dropped 5 spots into the lower regions. Makerbot’s Replicator 2 and 2X are both showing very steady growth over the last months. We expect the last one to overtake the Ultimaker 1 in the near future, with the Ultimaker 2 following very closely.

Note: only printers with a quantity of 40+ on our platform are included in these statistics.

Click here to download the dataset
pngNew: Popular Printers by Region

Insights: Popular Printers by Region

In this report we’ve added the percentage market share of printers per continent. What becomes clear after a first analysis is that Makerbot’s three Replicator versions are dominating the rankings of North-America with a combined share of 28,71%. Europe on the other hand shows the two Ultimaker versions at a combined percentage of 19,76% in a somewhat more segmented market. Because of the lower presence in Asia Pacific and South America the data is of slightly less value.

South America is dominated by RepRap or RepRap-like builds like the Prusa i3 and the Mendel Prusa, pointing out that the very tech-savy makers rule this continent and 3D Printing is still in its early stages here.
pngPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

For the past 6 months the Ultimaker 1 has been dominating the list. However, its popularity is dwindling; it is noted as of this month, the Replicator 2 has caught up with the Ultimaker 1. However it has to be noted that its successor, the Ultimaker 2, is growing rapidly, explaining the decreased interest in the Ultimaker 1. We expect this trend to continue the coming months, especially now that the source files of the Ultimaker 2 have been published online. The stage has been set for the community to truly develop its potential.

With new 3D Printers coming out on a weekly basis, it is not surprising to see that 26 new printer types were added since our last report. One of them is the Zortrax M200, a Kickstarter funded, Polish 3D printer which recently sold 5000 units to Dell. And it surely delivers: we were blown away by our Hub’s high quality print.

A model we are looking forward to is the already world famous Micro. We can't wait to see if this new kid on the block can lives up to its hype, and will be embraced by our community. But it will not be until Q4 before we will see it appear on our platform.

Click here to download the dataset
pngPrinter Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

This section has been very stable over the course of the last months. Stratasys, which is the owner of Makerbot, is still holding the largest market share with 25.3%, losing some ground as to last month’s 26.4%. Interestingly enough, the 4 largest manufacturers who account for an accumulated 71,7% of the market have all individually lost popularity and are now at 69,6%.

Note: RepRap is not a manufacturer but has been treated as such in this chart

Click here to download the dataset
pngPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

Our platform has now reached over 4000 listed 3D printers worldwide. Remaining the largest decentralised 3D printing platform globally. The growth remains at a steady percentage averaging 40% Month over Month for the last months.
pngColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

Even though there is a wide variety of colors to choose from, the most popular colors are by far Black and White, with Red and Blue following up. Black and White are the most wanted colors because they are often used for prototypes by designers and architects. Their wide availability, safe outcome and organic look make them very well suitable for this purpose. The most notable change in the lower regions comes from Glow-in-the-Dark filaments; growing from 0,8% to 2,0%.
pngMaterial Availability

Insights: Materials

ABS and PLA make up nearly 70% of all the available materials, with all the others developing evenly across the board. Since most desktop printers are able to print PLA and ABS, this is a natural choice for both makers and Hubs. Adding to that the ease of use, low price and high precision, these materials will remain the preferred weapon of choice in the foreseeable future.

Click here to download the dataset
png3D Printing Map of the World

Insights: 3D Printing Map of the World

Since last trend report, nearly 1000 Hubs have been added to our network. Europe still remains the continent with the best geographical coverage, with the US following in its footsteps. An unexpected rise was noticed in Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay, accounting for the majority of activity in South-America.