There is no doubt that 3D printing has become increasingly popular, not only across the world, but also here in South Africa.

And 3D Hubs, one of the world’s biggest 3D printing communities, recently conducted a trend survey to illustrate the state of the 3D printing industry on a global scale.

3D Hubs used data from its community, which includes over 13 500 printers in over 150 countries (as well as the thousands of 3D print orders every month) to see what people print, what they print it with, and how much printing goes on every day.

As an example, the most popular 3D modelling software that people used to upload their files was SolidWorks, with about 17.7%. “SketchUp is a close runner-up in 2nd and we found it interesting that the 3D Warehouse, one of the largest online repositories for 3D files and the software are closely related,” 3D Hubs said in a blog post.

Most popular 3D modeling software.
Most popular 3D modeling software.

But what printers are people making use of? 3D printers were rated out of 5-stars, and the clear winner with 4.81 was Zortrax M200.

Surprisingly, Makerbot’s Mini only managed to make it to 6th position.

The Highest Rated 3D Printers from 3D Hubs.
The Highest Rated 3D Printers from 3D Hubs.

“We have a new champion for the highest rated desktop printer, and her name is the Zortrax M200. The printer claimed the crown from the Form 1+, which takes second place this month. Of course, we’re curious to see how this these two printers stack up against each other in the future here.”

In terms of printer model distribution, Ultimaker 2 was crowned as the winner. “The Ultimaker 2 takes the cake! Not only did it pass the Makerbot Replicator 2 for the top spot, it’s also the first model on 3D Hubs to beat the 1000 mark.”

Most popular printer model distribution.
Most popular printer model distribution.

The best rated industrial printer was the Objet Eden 260 from Stratasys.

Where are the most 3D printers located? It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that New York tops this list with 224, which is a month-on-month growth of 9.8%. Sadly, while 3D Hubs have South African listings of 3D printers on its website, it didn’t include African cities in these stats, or in the ‘Popular Printers by Region’ section.

If you want to check out the rest of the trend survey and to see a map of 3D printer distribution across the world, click here.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.