3D Printing Trends October 2013

We've collected a lot of data over the past 6 months thanks to over a 1100 printer listings and hundreds of print jobs. We decided to share these insights with the community as it gives a nice perspective on the current state of the printing industry. We plan to release these trends on a monthly basis, this being the very first of the series. Also check out our November Report.

downloadPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Popularity

Acording to public sources there are roughly 100.000 3D Printers sold worldwide. Having signed up more than 1% on our platform we start to see some interesting patterns.

The two most significant players in the desktop 3D Printing market are Makerbot and Ultimaker. These two giants cover 40.4% of the printers on our platform. We've seen a strong increase in Makerbot listings since our coverage in the US in the past month, which indicates Makerbot is sold more in US while Ultimaker is more popular in Europe. RepRap is third most listed printer on our platform, however this is made up of a range of different RepRap generations and versions.

The fact that there are already 37 Professional Full-Color ZCorp printers on the platform indicates the interest from professional service providers is growing.
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 60% 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 no listings in South America yet. 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.

Solidoodle and Lulzbot are the only printer brands that are more listed in North-America than Europe, which makes sense due to their US focus.

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 80% 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 recently hit the 1K printers mark, we currently see our platform growing with close to 10 printers a day. 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. We're working on creating more detailed reports on what is being printed on the platform.