3D Hubs’ July 2015 Trends Reveals Interesting 3D Printing Behavior

By on July 1st, 2015 in research


This month’s trends report from 3D Hubs has some interesting data that identifies who’s actually 3D printing. 

The community 3D printing network is in a great position to gather stats, as they have the ability to monitor 3D printing on their nearly 20,000 (and growing) participant network. Each month they publish revealing analyses based on their findings. 

This month they asked surveyed participants to categorize their purpose for 3D printing and found the following: 

  • 35% Professionals, mostly product designers or engineers, who require 3D printing for their work.
  • 35% Makers, who require 3D printing to assist with various personal projects
  • 22% “Pioneers”, or people 3D Hubs considers novices, who typically do not design their own 3D models
  • 9% Students and Researchers, who use 3D printing for academic use. 

This explains why their color frequency statistics always show approximately 50% of printed parts are either plain black or white in color. This is because parts made for machines typically do not have a specific color requirement and thus, black or white. This is likely driven by the nearly 70% who use the network for making parts for business or projects. 

There’s also some interesting effects underway in the “Most Highly Rated 3D Printer” statistics. There’s new top dogs, the Kossel XL and DeltaWASP, although the number of ratings for these machines is far less than the deposed champion, the Zortrax M200, which now sits at position three. Formlabs’ Form 1+ remains the highest ranked resin-based 3D printer.

What’s also interesting is the near-absence of the two largest players, MakerBot/Stratasys and 3D Systems, both of whom manufacture extensive lines of desktop 3D printers. In the top twenty list we see only the original MakerBot Replicator, a machine released nearly three years ago and the MakerBot Mini, the only currently sold machine from MakerBot on the list. None of 3D Systems’ current products appear on the top-ranked list, although the Cube3 does appear on the trending list, meaning it is exhibiting a spurt of popularity.

Via 3D Hubs

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!