3D Printing Trends November 2013

We've collected a lot of data over the past 7 months thanks to well over 1600 printer listings and hundreds of 3D print jobs. We decided to share these insights with the community as it gives a unique perspective on the current state of the printing industry.

Since October we've started releasing these trends on a monthly basis, this being the second of the series. To receive these updates automatically, subscribe to our Trends Report Newsletter below:

download3D Printer manufacturer distribution

Insights: Printer manufacturers

According to public sources there are roughly 100.000 3D Printers sold worldwide. Having signed up more than 2.0% on our platform we start to see some interesting patterns.

Our biggest insight is the fact that the Open Source based RepRap and Ultimaker are both bravely holding significant market in a market that is targeted by 3D printing giants Stratasys (5.1B USD market cap) and 3D systems (6.5B USD market cap).

Due to the acquisition of Makerbot, Stratasys is the market leader with 25.5% of the install base on 3D Hubs. However, RepRap and Ultimaker are not lagging far behind with respectively 21.9% and 18.4% of share of the install base. Finally, 10.8% of the registered printers on 3D Hubs are made by 3D systems.
downloadPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Popularity

When zooming in on printer models, we note that the market is divided between a myriad of different models. We see that the top 5 is dominated by Makerbots, Ultimaker 1 and RepRap variations. However, there is a significant long tail of unique printers that all serve a slightly different segment.

FDM printers are still making up the majority of our install base. However, EOS, Zcorp and FormLabs printers are becoming more prominent due to the increased interest of professional service providers
downloadPrinter Distribution Europe, North and South America

Insights: Printers per Continent

The fact that we launched in Europe first clearly shows in the distribution of printers, with 61% of printer listings in Europe and 22% listings in the US. It's clear to see that Ultimaker is a very European company right now, with 87% of its listings in Europe. Makerbot is the most sold 3D Printer, which also shows by the fact that is has the biggest share everywhere but Europe, where Ultimaker is leading quite significantly.

downloadColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

Due to the distributed nature of our platform people can order prints in a rainbow of colors, we see the range of available colors expanding further as people start making more prints over time.

White is currently the most offered color, followed by shades of blue, red and green. At the same time more exotic colors are being offered at quite a few locations, think of gold and silver, great colors for fashion pieces such as Jewelry. Next to that we see glow in the dark colors, perfectly suited for toys as well as wood and brick materials.
downloadMaterial Availability

Insights: Materials

As desktop printers represent 90% of the printers on the platform it's not surprising to see plastics like ABS and PLA making up about 77% of the materials available.

Other popular materials include Nylon, Wood and Flexible rubber like materials. Another category is resins, which is directly linked to the Formlabs Form 1 printer and similar devices like the B9 Creator.
downloadPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

3D Hubs grew from 1100 listed printers to more than 1500 in one month. In less than 6 months after launching 3D Hubs is now the largest distributed 3d printing platform on a global scale.
downloadPrints by Category

Insights: Popular Print Categories

Each of the opened cities are generating daily print jobs providing 3D Hubs with insights into what is actually being printed.

The first results show that the number 1 use case is still prototypes, however more and more end products are being 3D Printed as well. For example the categories: gadgets, phone accessories, gifts, toys and fashion items make up more than half of the platforms' print jobs at the moment.

This month we've introduced Maker Tales to showcase some of the popular prints on our platform.