3D Printing Trends January 2014

This trend report a unique perspective on the current state of the 3D printing industry. Learn what the most popular printers, manufacturers and materials are. The report is based on the data of our 3D Hubs community with well over 2500 printer listings and thousands of 3D print jobs. You can find the previous December, November and October releases in the archive.


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downloadTrending Printers

Insights: Trending Printers

This chart reveals the fastest growing printers on the platform. We still see the effect of the recent Ultimaker 2 launch. Additionally, both the Up! Mini and the Solidoodle are gaining traction in the entry level dekstop printer market.

Furthermore, Makerbots are still growinbg quickly with both the Replicator 2 and 2X represented in the top 10. With this growth rate the Replicator 2 is posed to overtake the Ultimaker as the most popular printer on the platform soon.

Note: printers are included once they reach 30 printers on the platfrom.
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 and Zcorp printers are becoming more prominent due to the increased interest of professional service providers. We also expect that the Form 1 will enter the top ranks soon.
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 2.5% on our platform we start to see some interesting patterns.

Our biggest insight is the fact that the Open Source based RepRap DIY kits 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 Makerbot, Stratasys is the market leader with 26% of the install base on 3D Hubs. However, RepRap and Ultimaker are not lagging far behind with respectively 21.9% and 15.3% of share of the install base. Finally, 9.8% of the registered printers on 3D Hubs are made by 3D systems.
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 83% 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 black, 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 75% 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.

Furthermore, materials like Porcelain, Clay, Silver, Play Doh, Metalized Clay, Gold, Bronze and Aluminium are offering significant room for experimentation.
downloadPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

3D Hubs grew from about 2000 listed printers to more than 2500 in just one month. 3D Hubs remains the largest distributed 3d printing platform on a global scale.