3D Printing Trends July 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 18,500 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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pngNEW: Who's 3D printing?

Insights: Who's 3D printing?

Special addition incoming! This month we surveyed hundreds of our users to get to know them better. So, who's 3D printing? Based on what our customers use 3D printing for and their background, we identified them within the following 4 groups.

Professionals use 3D printing as part of their work. They're the largest group, accounting for more than a third of the respondents. Predominantly they design their own models and a whopping 57% of them are either (product) designers or engineers. Prototyping is the most common use case with 85% share, but 32% of them have used 3D printing for research and 18% for the production of end products.

Makers are defined as those who use 3D printing for personal projects, but design their own models. Tied with professionals they're also the largest group with 34.9% share of the respondents. Use cases are mostly related to their hobbies or gadgets they use and a technical background is quite common.

Pioneers are mostly new to the 3D printing world. They 3D print for personal projects and as they lack design skills in most cases acquire designs from content platforms. They represented 21.7% of the interviewees.

Students/Researchers are closely related to Professionals, but they use 3D printing as part of their education or for research, making up 8.5% of the respondents. 74% of students use 3D printing for their course projects, but over a third of them 3D print personal projects as well.
pngHighest Rated 3D Printers

Desktop Printers

Note: these are the top 20 rated printers out of 450 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 35 reviews are included in these statistics.

Insights: Highest Rated Desktop Printers

Delta-style printers still rule the roost as the highest rated desktop 3D printers. The Kossel XL claims the crown at top spot with DeltaWASP following closely in it’s footsteps.

A giant amongst desktop printers, the Big Builder is steadily moving up the ranks now claiming #4. Concluding the top 5 is a new entrant, Lulzbot flagship Taz 5 model.

The Form 1+ fell out of the top 5 for the first time since it entered the rankings. Even so, 500+ stellar reviews make it the highest rated resin printer on the market.

New to the list this month are Printrbot's high-end Metal Plus at #9 and the CEL Robox on 17th spot. Velleman's K8400 jumped 4 positions, just making it into the top 10. The original Makerbot Replicator is still highly popular, gathering 48 new reviews and climbing up 3 positions to number 12.

Industrial Printers

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

Insights: Highest Rated Industrial Printers

Material jetting is dominating the podium amongst the highest rated industrial printers, with two Stratasys Objet's and a 3D Systems ProJet machine in the top 3.

The following 3 are all plaster printers by 3D Systems, capable of full colour sandstone prints.

Formiga's P100 is a new entrant this month and the first SLS printer in the top 10. SLS 3D printers use lasers to sinter powdered material, (e.g nylon or metals) to create a solid structure. Given the strenght of the output, it is widely used for functional prototypes and low-volume production.
pngTrending Printers

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

Insights: Trending Printers

There's a fresh top 5 amongst the trending printers with 5 new 3D printers each growing at least 50 MoM. The crown belongs to Lulzbot's Taz 5, which became the fastest growing printer as well as appearing in the top 5 highest rated desktop printers this month.

The silver goes to Prusa Steel, which is the remixed version of the highly popular Prusa i3, sporting a sturdy metal frame. Lulzbot is on a roll this month, as the compact Mini takes the bronze as well.

#4 belongs to Da Vinci 1.0A, the updated version of the well-known 1.0. Concluding the top 5 is Rapide Lite 200, an Autralian FDM printer that got crowdfunded with $356K on Indiegogo last fall.
pngTop Print Cities

Insights: Top Print Cities

New York is still going strong with just short of 300 3D printers and 8.9% MoM growth. Los Angeles overtook Milan for the 2nd position. Will its momentum last to take the crown from the Big Apple? San Francisco made its debut on #9, as now the top 10 is equally divided between Europe and North America.

If you're interested in 3D printing events around your city, check out our calendar for July!
pngPrinter Model Distribution

Insights: Printer Model Distribution

With the Ultimaker 2 leading the ranks, the top 10 positions remain identical from last month amongst the most popular printers.
pngPrinter Manufacturer Distribution

Insights: Printer Manufacturer Distribution

RepRap based printers held onto the top spot, followed by MakerBot and Ultimaker on the podium. Ultimaker has breached the 2,000 printer mark this month.

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 Printrbot Simple Metal made it to the top 5, replacing the Da Vinci 1.0 on 5th spot.

In Europe the top 5 remains the same, but the relative market share of all printers decreasing slightly.

In Asia, the Ultimaker 2 overtook the 1st position from the MakerBot Replicator 2.

In South America, the MakerBot Replicator 2X climbed up to the podium, overtaking the RepRap.
pngPrinter Listings

Insights: International Growth

The number of printing locations on 3D Hubs has breached 18,500, adding more than a 1500 new 3D printers this month.
pngPopular Print Categories

Average Order Value per Category

Insights: Average Order Value per Category

The average order value for Scale models and Art/Fashion 3D Prints increased slightly, while other categories remained the same.

Insights: Popular Print Categories

The share of Prototype prints continued to increase this month, while the demand for Gadget prints slightly decreased, again, since our last report.
pngColor Distribution

Insights: Color Distribution

The demand for White and Black print increased again, as the two colors (or shades for the picky) now account for more than 50% 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 18,500 printers on our global platform, providing access to 3D printing in over 150 countries.

See the full screen version here.

Want to learn more and track changes?

You can find the previous releases in the archive: