3D Printing Trends January 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 10000 printers in over 120 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.

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zip Most Wanted 3D Printers
Just recently we released the 2015 3D Printer Guide, the first community powered guide to 3D printing based on 2,279 reviews from our certified Hubs. 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 Two printers stand out as the most popular printers of choice for our Hubs. The Ultimaker 2 and the Form 1+ were picked by more than 180 respondents respectively, each accounting for more than 8% of the feedback for most wanted printers. The Ultimaker 2 won by a single vote, but we have to add that it is already one of the most common printers on our platform, while the majority of prospective Form 1+ buyers are new to the manufacturer.

Following a sizeable gap, the rest of the top 10 is more even. The Zortrax M200 takes the bronze medal, followed by the Prusa i3, Printrbot and the newest Replicator model from Makerbot.

Ultimaker's 2nd printer on the list, the Original Plus and Lulzbot's Taz 4 both received 28 votes in the #7 spot, followed by the Rostock Max and the UP Plus 2.

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

Lulzbot has the most loyal users, as 58.8% of current Taz owners will stick to the manufacturer. Zortrax takes the 2nd spot with a 50% retention rate while Ultimaker follows at #3 with 49.3% of customers planning to purchase machine from the company again. Both manufacturers finished in the top 3 for customer loyalty as well as printer popularity, which is a strong recipe for long-term success.

WASP, the Italian manufacturer of the DeltaWASP and PowerWASP printers claims the 4th position, followed by the kickstarted Robo 3D.

All the other manufacturers are familiar from the 3D Printer Guide. Our Hubs rated Makergear's M2 the best enthusiast printer, while SeeMeCNC's Rostock Max topped the best kits list. Printrbot and Sharebot both featured the highest rated budget printers, while Witbox is one of our community's top choices for enthusiasts.
png Highest Rated 3D Printers

Desktop Printers

Note: these are the top 20 rated printers out of 350 printer models listed on our platform. 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

The Form 1+ starts the new year in the same spot where it finished 2014, at the top. Resin prints are becoming increasingly popular, indicated by reviews for Form 1+ prints which have doubled since our last report.

A surprise hit in the 2nd spot is the Chinese CTC-3D, a Replicator-based printer that sells for only $700. Our Hubs chose the Zortrax M200 the best plug 'n' play printer in the 3D Printer Guide, and it's still the 3rd highest rated desktop printer thanks to its high quality ABS prints. The original Form 1 fell back to the 4th spot and the best choice for large PLA prints is bq's Witbox, rounding out the top 5.

Quite a few manufacturers have multiple printers in our top 20. Flashforge has 3 printers on our list: the new plug 'n' play Dreamer, the original Creator and its Pro version. Printrbot is featured with the original Simple model along with its new Metal version. Last but not the least, Makerbot is represented with 3 consecutive generations of its Replicator printers.

Industrial Printers

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

Insights: Highest Rated Industrial Printers

We've increased the list of highest rated industrial printers to 10 models and this month it is divided equally between 3D Systems and Stratasys machines.

The ProJet 3500 HDMax and the Objet Eden 260 both managed to secure complete 5 star ratings and are now joined by the ProJet 460 Plus on the podium.

3D Systems' plaster printers are based on the Zcorp technology to create full-color 3D sandstone prints. Objet printers and the Projet 3500 HDMax use proprietary material jetting technologies to produce high-detail prints with smooth finishes. Industrial FDM printers from Stratasys provide less detail, but more rigidity for functional parts and prototypes.
png Trending Printers

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

Insights: Trending Printers

The new year begins with fresh entrants claiming top spots in the trending printers category. Flashforge's Creator Pro grew a staggering 59% over the last month. The metal version of Printrbot Simple also turned out to be popular over the holidays, showing 45.8% growth. The last spot on the podium is taken by DeltaWASP, a high-end pre-assembled delta 3D printer from Italy.

Zortrax's M200 is a regular amongst global trending printers. This month it fell back one spot, even though its growth actually picked up since our previous report. The Rostock MAX not only became the best kit printer in our 3D Printer Guide, it also shows the highest growth in its category.

In the second half of the list we find Makerbot's smallest and largest printers in the 5th and the 10th spots respectively. The Witbox fell back one position as Sharebot's Next Generation model took 7th place. The Da Vinci 1.0 is now a regular within the trending printers category, showing up there for half a year straight, and still showing 19.1% growth.
png Top Print Cities

Insights: Top Print Cities

Growth in New York increased last month as the Big Apple extended its lead over Milan. London and Los Angeles continue to compete for the bronze medal, with London take the prize this time. Paris doesn't seem to slow down, catching up to our hometown Amsterdam. "Ca balance pas mal à Paris".
png Printer Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

The Ultimaker 2 has continued it's steady growth, now claiming the 2nd spot. With the recent expansion of the Ultimaker 2 Family, we're curious to see if they will be the first to reach 1000 or the current leader, Makerbot Replicator 2, will get there first.
png Printer Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

Makerbot is the leading manufacturer on our platform followed by RepRap and Ultimaker at 2nd and 3rd position respectively.

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.
png Popular Printers by Region

Insights: Popular Printers by Region

The Makerbot Replicator 2 holds firmly onto its lead in North America, while the Prusa i3 and the Da Vinci 1.0 overtook Printrbot in the top 5.

In Europe, the Ultimaker 2 dethroned its predecessor for the top prize, while the Prusa i3 came in #2 and the Ultimaker Original Plus at #3.

The Replicator 2 reigns supreme in Asia as well, while the Ultimaker 2 and the Prusa i3 are moving up the chart nicely.

In South America the Prusa i3 jumped to the top, pulling ahead of RepRap and the Makerbot Replicator 2x.
png Printer Listings

Insights: International Growth

It was an exciting start to the year at 3D Hubs, passing 10,000 printers on our global platform. A big thank you to all of our Hubs who are making distributed manufacturing a reality!
png Popular Print Categories

Average order price per category

Insights: Average order value per category

This month average order values for Art/Fashion and Household slightly increased, while other category splits remained nearly identical from the month earlier.

Insights: Popular Print Categories

The share of Prototype and Art/Fashion prints slightly increased since the last report, while the Gadget category shrunk by 1.1% since last month.
png Color Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

The most popular colors printed are White, Black, Blue, Red & Green; accounting for almost 75% of the total orders. Just as we predicted, Red overtook Green since our last report.
png 3D Printing Map of the World

Insights: 3D Printing Map of the World

The map above represents the geographical distribution of over 10,000 printers on our platform. Four new countries have recently joined, a big welcome to Guam, Oman, Paraguay and Turkmenistan!

See the full screen version here .

Want to learn more and track changes?

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