When Mike reported on the December issue of the Trend Report from 3D Hubs, he pointed to it being a useful strategy for marketing for the ‘collaborative production platform.’ I have to agree it is definitely that, and that the snapshot it provides can only be a reflection of the wider 3D printing industry. That said, the facts and the figures, while not always stark month on month, will develop into a very interesting annual picture in time.
For anyone interested in the nitty gritty of the facts and figures from 3D Hubs this January and/or with a desire to analyse them more closely than this overview — head on over to the 3D Hubs site to immerse yourself.
For our readers here on 3DPI, the highlights come on three fronts.
The ongoing international growth that 3D Hubs is experiencing is impressive. In the last month alone 3D Hubs grew from circa 2000 listed 3D printers to more than 2500 ensuring its position as the largest distributed 3D printing platform. This also means that on quoted global 3D printer uptake, 3D Hubs represents about 2.5% of the entire industry. Up 0.5% on December. It’s a very positive trajectory.
Another interesting industry reflection comes from the analysis of the materials being used on 3D printers by 3D Hubs members. For years the desire has been for a wider spectrum of 3D printable materials. It is not surprising that materials use is still dominated by ABS and PLA but neither is it surprising that Nylon, Wood and Flexible rubber like materials are growing. What is interesting to see is that materials like Porcelain, Clay, Silver, Play Doh, Metalized Clay, Gold, Bronze and Aluminium are all offering significant room for experimentation.
And finally, on the geographic numbers, 3D Hubs reports the deeper penetration of 3D printers on the platform outside of Europe, which does still lead courtesy of the fact that it launched in Europe first. However, following the US unlocking tour just over a month ago, the 22% of listings in the US show significant uptake and growth. South American results are also just beginning to take root.