3D Printing Trends March 2015

This trend report provides a comprehensive and unmatched perspective on the current state of the 3D printing industry. Based on data from our 3D Hubs community, which includes over 12000 printers in over 150 countries, and thousands of 3D print orders every month, we are excited to show you the printers people love and what’s trending in the world of 3D printing.

Looking for which 3D printer to buy? Check out the 2015 Printer Guide, our comprehensive report based on reviews of 2279 verified 3D printer owners.


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pngHighest Rated 3D Printers

Desktop Printers

Note: these are the top 20 rated printers out of 350 printer models listed on our platform, based on print quality ratings from our customers. High quality is in this case not the same as high resolution. The quality rating takes the max. resolution of a printer into account. Only printers with more than 25 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Desktop Printers

For the 3rd consecutive month, the Form 1+ is the highest rated desktop 3D printer. In second place, Zortrax's M200 reclaimed its title as the best FDM printer on 3D Hubs.

This year's surprise hit, the Chinese CTC-3D fell back one spot into 3rd place and fares exceptionally well against its more expensive competitors. Lulzbot's Taz 4 is a newcomer to the list, with an impressive 4th place ranking. It was also chosen as the manufacturer with the most loyal users in last month’s report.

While MakerBot's Replicators have left the list for now, the Mini jumped into the 6th spot. The Witbox has been in the top 10 for 5 months now and Makergear's M2, the best 3D printer for enthusiasts from our 3D Printer Guide, is quietly moving up the ranks, claiming the 8th position.

Flashforge and Printrbot each have multiple printers in the top 20 and we have two new printers joining the list this month. The DeltaWASP, a high-end delta printer from Italy claims the 12th position and the Spanish kit printer BCN3D+ reached the 17th spot.

Industrial Printers

Note: only printers with more than 10 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Industrial Printers

There’s still only one way claim a spot on the industrial printers podium; have complete 5 star ratings. Stratasys' Objet Eden 260 and two Projet printers from 3D Systems held onto their leads and continue to recieve additional reviews.

3D Systems has 3 plaster printers in the top 10 this month. These machines use Zcorp technology to create full-color sandstone 3D prints, while Objet printers and the Projet 3500 HDMax use proprietary material jetting technologies to produce high-detail prints with smooth finishes.

Industrial FDM printers from Stratasys provide less detail but more rigidity for functional parts and prototypes. This month the Fortus 250MC replaced its big brother, the 400MC, and both Dimension models fell back a bit inside the top 10.
pngTrending Printers

Note: only printers with a quantity of 30+ on our platform are included in these statistics.

Insights: Trending Printers

Growth for the printers inside this category skyrocketed after the holiday season. Every printer in the top 10 grew by at least 25% and the top 3 by more than 50% (MoM growth) on 3D Hubs.

Lulzbot's Taz 4 not only becomes one of the highest rated 3D printers, it also claims the top position in the trending printers category. Though Flashforge relinquished its gold medal for now, it has 2 machines in the top 10, in the 2nd and 4th spots.

Printrbot kept its spot on the podium and increased its growth on the platform. After a month of absence, the Form 1+ returns to the list, claiming the 5th position.

Three more printers are newbies: 3D System's CubePro, the mini version of the Kossel delta printer and the 4th generation Solidoodle.
pngTop Print Cities

Insights: Top Print Cities

They don’t call it The City That Never Sleeps for nothing. New York became the 1st city to reach 200 3D printing locations. Other notables include Los Angeles, which grew 15.3% in just one month. If the growth rate keeps up for LA, it will reclaim the bronze medal from London shortly. Mind the gap.

March brings dozens of 3D Hubs events all over the world, so take a look at our calendar and come join us.
pngPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

The top of the list remains unchanged with the Replicator 2 and the Ultimaker 2 at 1 and 2 respectively. Notably, both printers are edging closer to the 1000 mark. The Da Vinci 1.0 is steadily moving up the chart, having spent 6 months appearing inside the trending printers category, and the Form 1+ became the first SLA printer to enter the top 10.
pngPrinter Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

Kit printers are gaining serious traction, which lead RepRap based printers to take the top spot from MakerBot.

Note: RepRap is not a manufacturer but has been treated as such in this chart. Also, we have decided to list Stratasys' industrial line-up and the MakerBot family separately moving forward.
pngPopular Printers by Region

Insights: Popular Printers by Region

The Form 1+ is the first SLA printer to appear inside this category, claiming the 5th position in North America.

Outside of North America, the top 5 has not changed since last month. MakerBot's Replicator 2 is the top printer both in North America and Asia, while it’s in the top 5 in all 4 regions. The Prusa i3 is also clearly one of the most widely used printers around the world, appearing in every region and topping the list in South America.
pngPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

Growth picked up after the holidays again. We have passed 12,000 printers on our global platform with more than 200 new locations joining every week.
pngPopular Print Categories

Average Order Value per Category

Insights: Average Order Value per Category

The average order value for Prototype prints slightly increased this month, while Art/Fashion and Scale model values decreased.

Insights: Popular Print Categories

After months of decline, the share of prototype prints picked up steam this month, as did Hobby/DIY prints. The share of gadget prints decreased slightly.
pngColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

We hope our users haven’t forgotten Valentine’s Day. Green overtook Red this month and there is no sign of a spike in demand for Pink 3D prints.
png3D Printing Map of the World

Insights: 3D Printing Map of the World

The map above represents the geographic distribution of over 12,000 printers on our platform. Three new countries have recently joined. We’re please to welcome Afghanistan, Albania and Haiti to the 3D printing community.

See the full screen version here .

Want to learn more and track changes?

You can find the previous 2015 January, 2014 November, October, August, June, May, April, February, January, December and 2013 November releases in the archive.