3D Printing Trends April 2016

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 28,500 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 2016 Printer Guide, our comprehensive report based on reviews of 5,350 verified 3D printer owners.


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pngNEW: 3D Modeling Softwares

Insights: 3D Modeling Softwares

One year ago we first looked at what the preferred 3D modeling softwares were of our customers. Now it's time to look at how it has changed over the course of one year.

No surprises at the top, the winner is SolidWorks again. The well-known professional CAD suite from Dassault Systèmes even managed to increase its relative market share by 0.9 percentage points to 18.6% since last year. In its footsteps SketchUp fell back almost 3 percentage points, but still managed to hold onto the silver.

Autodesk continues to dominate the list with 4 software tools, the first one being the cloud-based Fusion 360 at #3. Dassault Systèmes' CATIA and the open-source Blender both climbed up two positions to #4 and #5 respectively.

Autodesk's AutoCAD now claims the 6th position, followed by the company's 123D suite that includes an ever growing number of apps for hobbyists, such as 123D Design and Tinkercad.

The rest of the top 10 includes Rhinoceros 3D, the free 3D-compiler OpenSCAD and professional suites from Autodesk's Solidworks competitor the Inventor.
pngHighest Rated 3D Printers

Desktop Printers

Note: these are the top 20 rated printers out of 600 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 75 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Desktop Printers

Two new entrants are rocking our highest rated desktop 3D printers list this month. The gold goes to BCN3D SIGMA, a high-end FDM printer from Barcelona Spain, which sports features like an independent dual extrusion system for multimaterial and multicolor prints.

The Form 2 takes the silver, as well as the crown for the highest rated SLA printer. After the Form 1+ success we expected it to launch around the top, now it looks like it has managed to upend the print quality of its predecessor.

Last month's leader the PowerSpec 3D Pro fell back to #3, followed by two regulars in the top 5, the CEL Robox and the Zortrax M200.

There are 3 more new printers in our top 20: the ORD Bot Hadron debuted at #12, the Lulzbot Mini landed at #14 and the Mendelmax 3 reached the 17th position this April.

Industrial Printers

Note: only printers with more than 25 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Industrial Printers

3D Systems took over the highest rated industrial printers list from Stratasys as two ProJet printers - the 460Plus and the 3500 HDMax - lead the ranks this month.

Stratasys' two PolyJet printers fell back sligthly, the Objet30 Prime took the bronze and the Objet Eden260 now claims #4. Rounding out the top 5 is the Projet 660, 3D Systems' high-end full-color printer.

The rest of the top 10 includes 2 more full-color printers from 3D Systems and 3 selective laser sintering machines from EOS.
pngTrending Printers

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

Insights: Trending Printers

April brings all new printers to lead our most trending printers list. The updated version of Ultimaker's popular 2nd generation printer tops the list with a strong 118.2% growth.

The silver goes to the Da Vinci 1.0 PRO, the high-end version of Da Vinci's popular desktop printer. The last printer on the podium is the Prusa i3x3 Custom, a large volume edition of Josef Prusa's well-known design.

Last month's winner, the Form 2 fell back to #4 but still grew 32.5% MoM. Rounding out the top 5 is the Discovery 200, which fell back 2 spots since last month.
pngTop Print Cities

Insights: Top Print Cities

New York starts April on top again, getting closer and closer to the 500 mark. Los Angeles takes the silver growing 4.7% MoM, followed by the first European city on the list, London.

The fastest growing city is Amsterdam again, which even managed to increase its growth rate to 7.7%.

April brings many new 3D printing events around the globe. Check out our calendar to find one close to you!
pngPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

The Prusa i3 is still leading the ranks with 2244 3D printers on 3D Hubs, followed by the Ultimaker 2. Zortrax's M200 is getting real close to the Replicator 2x with now only 4 printers dividing #4 and #5.
pngPrinter Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

Ultimaker has started distancing itself from MakerBot as it's now leading with a 100 printers.

The race for #4 is getting hot, as Flashforge is edging closer to Stratasys.
pngPopular Printers by Region

Insights: Popular Printers by Region

After climbing over the Replicator 2x, the FlashForge Creator Pro overtook the Printrbot Simple Metal for the bronze in North America this month.

Zortrax M200 is coming up in Europe, overtaking the Ultimaker Original Plus at #3.

The Prusa i3 is edging closer to the Ultimaker 2 in Asia, cutting its lead in half in 1 month.

In South America, all 3D printers in the top 5 lost from their relative market share this month.
pngPopular Materials

Average Order Value per Material

Insights: Average Order Value per Material

The average order size for ABS and PLA both increased slightly this month, but these general purpose plastic materials still make up the least expensive orders. The average value of resin printing orders increased again to $51.4.

The average price of Nylon (SLS) orders decreased by $2.7 to $82.6. PolyJet orders have increased slightly to $92, whereas Full color sandstone decreased to $96.
pngPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

3D printer listings continue to grow, adding 1,000 and reaching a grand total of 28,500 this month.
pngColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

Black and White continues to dominate, now accounting for more than 55% of all 3D prints.
3D Printing Map of the World

Insights: 3D Printing Map of the World

The map above represents the geographic distribution of over 28,500 printers on our global platform, providing access to 3D printing in over 150 countries.


See the full screen version here.

Want to learn more and track changes?

You can find the previous releases in the archive: