3D Printing Trends April 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 13,500 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 2015 Printer Guide, our comprehensive report based on reviews of 2279 verified 3D printer owners.


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pngNEW: 3D Modeling Softwares

Insights: 3D Modeling Softwares

This month we have a something special to report. For the first time, we looked into the various file formats people upload to see what the most popular 3D modeling softwares of our users are.

The winner? SolidWorks! The well-known professional CAD suite from Dassault Systèmes. SketchUp is a close runner-up in 2nd and we found it interesting that the 3D Warehouse, one of the largest online repositories for 3D files and the software are closely related.

Autodesk dominates the list, claiming half of the top 10, including the next three slots. The bronze belongs to Fusion 360, the first major cloud-based 3D CAD tool. #4 is the 123D suite, the first free set of tools on our list with an ever growing number of apps for hobbyists, including 123D Design and Tinkercad.

AutoCAD rounds out the top 5, making one of the earliest CAD programs in the world a force to be reckoned with.

The rest of the top 10 includes the free and open-source Blender, the free 3D-compiler OpenSCAD, Rhinoceros 3D and professional suites from Autodesk and Dassault Systèmes.
pngHighest Rated 3D Printers

Desktop Printers

Note: these are the top 20 rated printers out of 400 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

We have a new champion for the highest rated desktop printer, and her name is the Zortrax M200. The printer claimed the crown from the Form 1+, which takes second place this month. Of course, we're curious to see how this these two printers stack up against each other in the future here.

CTC-3D holds onto the bronze, followed by two newcomers. The Big Builder is one of the largest "desktop" 3D printers on the market, with build heights up to 664mm. One needs a sizeable desk to accomodate it though - the printers are almost a meter tall and weighs 25kg.

The Prusa i3 Hephestos is a modified Prusa kit made by the Spanish company bq, producer of the acclaimed Witbox. For ~$600, it's one of the least expensive printers on the list, apparently with a great print quality.

Makerbot's Mini managed to hold onto the 6th position, while DeltaWASP jumped 5 positions ahead to #7.

Two more printers are new to the list. Solidoodle's 4th generation 3D printer claimed the 10th position, while Craftbot raised $245,547 on Indiegogo last summer and now takes the 18th slot. It looks like the Budapest-based team kept its promises considering the print quality.

Industrial Printers

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

Insights: Highest Rated Industrial Printers

This month, the top 10 remains unchanged for the highest rated industrial printers. Stratasys' Objet Eden 260 and two ProJet printers from 3D Systems hold onto their spots on the podium with complete 5 star ratings.

Just recently, Carbon3D took the whole industry by surprise with the announcement of their ultra-fast 3D printer, promising a wide array of materials and production grade quality. As the launch of HP's 3D printer is edging closer as well, it seems more and more companies are planning to disrupt the industrial 3D printer market. Exciting!
pngTrending Printers

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

Insights: Trending Printers

bq's Prusa i3 Hephestos not only became one of the highest rated 3D printers this month, it's also the fastest growing printer on 3D Hubs with a staggering 209.1% MOM growth.

Lulzbot's Taz 4 fell back one spot but still grew 35.9%, and Flashforge continues to showcase two printers in the top 5, both growing more than 30%.

The Prusa i2 is a surprise in the #6 position as its successor has been on the market for a while. The Form 1+ left the top 5, but still managed to grow 24.1%.
pngTop Print Cities

Insights: Top Print Cities

New York holds firmly onto its title as the Capital City of 3D printing. Continuing it's silver position is Milan followed by Los Angeles and London. Paris shows the highest growth inside the top 10, as it increased its lead ahead of Amsterdam.

If you're interested in 3D printing events around your city, check out our calendar for April!
pngPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

The Ultimaker 2 takes the cake! Not only did it pass the Makerbot Replicator 2 for the top spot, it’s also the first model on 3D Hubs to beat the 1000 mark. Congrats on the amazing milestone!
pngPrinter Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

RepRap based printers held onto the top spot, beating out Makerbot and Ultimaker.

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 Ultimaker 2 has only been on sale in the US since September, yet it claimed the 5th position in North America this month. It will be interesting to see how fast it grows in the region in the coming months.

In Europe,the top 5 remains unchanged, with the Ultimaker 2 and the Prusa i3 increasing their relative market share, while the others dropped back slightly.

The Prusa i3 is gaining traction in Asia, as it overtook Makerbot’s Replicator 2x for the bronze medal.
pngPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

We’ve just passed 13,500 printers on 3D Hubs, adding 1,500 new 3D printers since our last report. Altogether 3500 new locations have joined in the first quarter of the 2015. Keep it up!
pngPopular Print Categories

Average Order Value per Category

Insights: Average Order Value per Category

The average order value for Art/Fashion prints increased by almost $5, while other categories remained the same.

Insights: Popular Print Categories

The share of Prototype, Hobby/DIY and Art/Fashion prints picked up steam this month, while the demand for Gadget prints slightly decreased.
pngColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

Not even St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t save Green prints this month, as Red claimed back the #4 spot.
png3D Printing Map of the World

Insights: 3D Printing Map of the World

The map above represents the geographic distribution of over 14,000 printers on our platform. Four new countries have recently joined. We’re please to welcome Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia and Yemen to the 3D printing community.

See the full screen version here .

Want to learn more and track changes?

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