3D Hubs’ Fascinating April Trends

By on April 19th, 2014 in Service

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Peer-to-peer 3D printing network 3D Hubs released its latest report on 3D printing trends. 

Their report is based on usage of machines within their ever-expanding network, which now boasts well over 4000 3D printers. They track machine types, material used, types of prints requested and much more. By looking at the statistics we can get a glimpse of what’s going on in the competitive industry of 3D printing, particularly on the personal 3D printer side. 

But there’s a caution here: the 3D Hubs network is composed of machines offered for use by their owners. These folks are likely technical types and not “pure consumers”, who for the most part probably don’t even know 3D Hubs exists. So the stats could be a little off reality. Nevertheless, they are always interesting. What happened this month? 

3D Hubs now reports on the average price per category of print. The most expensive two categories are “scale models” and “art/fashion”, which makes sense as they are typically quite detailed and complex, whereas the least expensive print type is “household”. We suppose printing coat hooks and the like are pretty straightforward.

Still, the most popular request type is for prototypes. We’re wondering why those requesting the prototypes simply don’t get their own machine, given the significantly reduced machine pricing lately. 

Also as usual 3D Hubs reports on “trending printers”, which attempts to show which specific 3D printer models are joining their network at the fastest rate. The runaway leader is Ultimaker 2, which grew 70% month over month. This is likely due to the fact that is it a newly released machine and upgrades are probably swapping them in for their older models. The remainder of the trending list is a mix of RepRaps and other popular machines. Of particular note, however, is the stark absence of any 3D Systems equipment. Perhaps this is due to their focus on consumers, but they also do offer machines comparable to any on 3D Hubs’ list. 

MakerBot’s Replicator 2 dominates most of the world’s regions, and it should, it’s a popular and well-made machine. Following up on the Cubify popularity, they do appear on the overall popularity list, but only with 9.2% of the distribution. Ultimakers, Replicators and RepRaps make up more than half of the list. 

Not surprisingly, the most frequently requested print colors are white and black. (Just so you know, we just ordered a massive pile of filament for our lab. White, of course.)

Via 3D Hubs