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Ultimaker and Prusa Vie for Dominance in 3D Hubs Trend Report

Picture of Bulent Yusuf
by Bulent Yusuf
Apr 19, 2018

Ultimaker! HP! Prusa Research! New York City! Some fascinating insights into the 3D printing industry, courtesy of the latest 3D Hubs Trend Report.

It’s the beginning of a new business quarter, and for 3D printing fanatics that means only one thing. It’s time for another 3D Hubs Trend Report.

The 3D Hubs Trend Report is put together every three months using data from 6,000 active international service providers. Between them, they fabricate more than 200,000 3D printed parts every quarter. In turn, customers will routinely rate and review the quality of the prints they have received.

The scale of this activity is truly unique; studying the data provides an extensive overview of the latest trends in both consumer and industrial 3D printing. Without further ado, let’s dive into the latest findings from Q2 2018 spanning January to March.

3D Hubs Trend Report: Highest Rated Desktop 3D Printers

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These are the top rated 3D printers out of 700 printer models listed on the 3D Hubs platform, based on print quality ratings from customer review data. Only printers with more than 140 reviews in the quarter are included in these stats.

As can be seen in the chart above, there are two clear winners in this segment. Prusa Research and Ultimaker take 6 of the 10 spots with their range of fused deposition modeling (FDM) machines, leaving barely any room for other companies to make their mark. The only anomaly is the Form 2 from Formlabs, bravely flying the flag for stereolithographic (SLA) 3D printing.

With market share increases for both Prusa Research and Ultimaker from previous trend reports, it’s clear that the battle for market-leader is settling into a two-horse race. But the reassuring thing is that both companies remain committed to open source hardware and software; the customer wins either way.

3D Hubs Trend Report: Most Used Desktop 3D Printers

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These are the 10 most productive desktop 3D printers out of 700 printer models listed on 3D Hubs. The data is based on the quantity of customer prints from the previous quarter, which amounted to 67,516 items.

The Prusa Research MK2 is now the most used on the platform, creating 15,087 parts. According to our source at 3D Hubs, many suppliers on the platform are using multiples of this machine to set up print farms for bulk production.

The Form 2 isn’t too far behind, however, with 14,211 parts. Being the only reputable SLA solution on the service — as per the previous chart — means that pretty much every print job of this nature is being fabricated on a Form 2. It has all the makings of a virtuous circle.

One strange detail is the presence of the Fusion3 F400-S. This is technically an industrial 3D printer, and it’s substantially more expensive and sophisticated than an ordinary desktop machine. It doesn’t really belong on this chart.

3D Hubs Trend Report: Most Used Industrial 3D Printers

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Technology giant HP is firing on all cylinders in the industrial 3D printer space, if this activity on 3D Hubs is any indication. Their Jet Fusion 4200 machine has doubled its output from 2,500 parts made in Q1 to 5,087 in Q2. This is also nearly twice as much as their nearest rival, the Formiga P110. They’re doing similarly well in the Highest Rated Industrial Printer category, nabbing the second spot after the Formiga P100.

3D Hubs Trend Report: Most Used Materials

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The most popular technology on 3D Hubs continues to be FDM, with 68% market share. Essentially, it remains the most affordable way for users to develop a first prototype of their models.

Digging even further, the chart above shows the Most Used Materials on 3D Hubs, with at least half of the top ten specific to desktop FDM machines. This data shows the breakdown in revenue as a percentage for each material.

Standard PLA remains number one, despite a drop of 4% since the previous quarter. Standard ABS is number two with a share of 17%, which is still some distance from the top. PETG, TPU and PLA/HPA take up the fifth, sixth and seventh spots, respectively.

For the third and fourth spots, there’s a dual between SLS and SLA/DLP technologies on a material level. PA 12 is the most popular SLS material, and with 12% share has overtaken the popular SLA/SLP Standard Resin at 8% share. However, SLA/DLP makes up some ground with Transparent and Tough Resins entering the chart for the first time at eighth and ninth, respectively.

3D Hubs Trend Report: Top Print City

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The data displayed here shows the number of prints ordered last quarter per city as a percentage of the total. Overall, the US nabs 6 of the 10 spots, while London, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin represent Europe.

New York has retained its crown as the Top Print City from the previous quarter, with 2.7%. But London has gained 0.5% market share to climb up to 2.4%. The speculation from our sources at 3D Hubs is that the rise is because of students creating prototypes for their end of January assessments.

You can read the full 3D Hubs Trend Report for all these insights and more, while reports from previous quarters can be found here. Check back in three months for the next exciting update.

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