3D Printing Trends December 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 24,500 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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zip Most Wanted 3D Printers
Just recently we released the 2016 3D Printer Guide, our annual community powered guide to 3D printing based on 5,350 reviews from certified 3D printer owners. As a bonus, we asked what printer they're likely to buy next. In the charts below you will find the most wanted 3D printers and the manufacturers which have the most loyal customers.
Chart for the Most wanted printers This year, one printer clearly stands out of the crowd. The new Form 2, released this September is our Hubs' most coveted present they'd love to find under the Christmas tree. The silver and the bronze goes to Ultimaker, the Ultimaker 2 and it's larger Extended version are the most sought after FDM printers.

Our Hubs top choice for Plug 'n' Play 3D printer, the Zortrax M200 missed the podium by only one vote. Rounding out the top 5 is Lulzbot's flagship model, the Taz 5.

The Prusa i3, which is currently the 2nd most popular printer on 3D Hubs came in at #6, followed by the 5th Gen Replicator. The rest of the top 10 includes SeeMeCNC’s Rostock MAX kit, Formlabs' now entry-level 1+ and the UP Box.

Chart for Manufacturer loyalty To measure customer retention, we calculated how likely current owners are to buy their next printer from the same manufacturer.

Formlabs turns out to be the winner again, 54.3% of current Form 1 or 1+ owners would pick the Form 2 as their next printer. Lulzbot owners are the most loyal FDM printer owners, with almost 50% of current owners choosing the brand again.

The bronze goes to CEL, manufacturer of the acclaimed Robox, which debuted amongst the top Plug 'n' Play 3D printers in our guide this year. Next on the list is Makergear with the M2, our Hubs' top choice for Enthusiasts for 2 consecutive years now. Concluding the top 5 is Zortrax, the maker of the M200.

UP and Felix has both multiple models on our platform. Their owners are quite loyal to the brands, with 35% retention. Next on our list is WASP at #8, the manufacturer of the DeltaWASP followed by SeeMeeCNC and the Rostock Max at #9.

Ultimaker concludes the top 10, with more than 300 reviews, of which almost a 3rd of them are planning to buy their next printer from the manufacturer again.
pngHighest Rated 3D Printers

Desktop Printers

Note: these are the top 20 rated printers out of 500 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 50 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Desktop Printers

The Prusa Steel is on a roll! Not only did it make it to our 2016 3D Printer Guide as one of the top choices for Kit/DIY buyers, but it still rocks the highest printed desktop 3D printers charts. Following in its footsteps is the Kossel XL, which jumped up 5 positions to take the silver this month.

The Zortrax M200 climbed up 2 positions to take the bronze, adding 145 stellar reviews in one month. The CEL Robox also debuted in our guide as one of the top Plug 'n' Play picks, and it's following its peer closely at #4.

Notable rising stars this month include the Kossel, which climbed up 4 spots and made it to the top 10. Witbox is also up 4 positions and claims #14 now, followed by Makergear's M2, which reenters our top 20 list at #15 this month.

Industrial Printers

Note: only printers with more than 20 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Industrial Printers

With 3D Hubs HD came the rise of SLS 3D printers: The top 10 highest rated industrial printers includes 4 selective laser sintering machines from EOS and Formiga, challenging the dominant binder and material jetting technologies.

Still, the top 3 remains intact as the Objet Eden 260 held onto the crown ahead of the ProJet 460Plus and the Projet 3500 HDMax.
pngTrending Printers

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

Insights: Trending Printers

The Ultimaker 2 Extended managed to hold onto the top spot amongst the trending printers, adding over 33% MoM since our last report. The Duplicator I3 is edging closer at #2, as it even managed to increase its growth rate since last month.

At #3 we have a new entrant, namely the UP Box, a new Plug 'n' Play printer from the creator of the UP Plus 2 and UP Mini.

The following 3 printers are all famous for the large build volume. The Duplicator 5 debuted at #5, followed by Lulzbot Taz 5 and the Big Builder Dual Feed Extruder.
pngTop Print Cities

Insights: Top Print Cities

New York is inevitably getting closer to the 400 mark as our top 3D printing city. Los Angeles is following at #2 with 320 3D printers ahead of London.

Just like last month, Toronto is the fastest growing city with 6.7% growth and is bound to climb up the list if it continues at this pace.

December is going to be our biggest event month with the Global 3D Printing Day at 400+ locations. Check out our calendar to find one close to you!
pngPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

The Ultimaker 2 is still leading the ranks as the top 5 remains the same this month. At #6, the Zortrax M200 is climbing up the chart and got close to overtaking the original Ultimaker.
pngPrinter Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

RepRap based printers are leading the ranks, with MakerBot and Ultimaker in their footsteps.

Note: RepRap is not a manufacturer but has been treated as such in this chart.
pngPopular Printers by Region

Insights: Popular Printers by Region

In North America the top 5 remains the same, with the MakerBot Replicator 2 losing from its relative market share.

The Prusa i3 and the Zortrax M200 increased their market share in Europe over the last month.

In Asia, the Prusa i3 and the FlashForge Creator Pro both managed to increase their relative market share.

In South America, the top 4 printers lost from their relative market share, whereas the Ultimaker 2 remained steady.
pngPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

The number of printing locations has surpassed 24,500 during this month.
pngColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

Black and White prints keep on getting more and more popular, as they now account for 53.5% 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 24,500 printers on our global platform, providing access to 3D printing in over 150 countries.

This month we have one new joiner from Africa again. Tanzania, welcome to the 3D printing community!

See the full screen version here.

Want to learn more and track changes?

You can find the previous releases in the archive: