3D printers are no longer the playthings of industry. Hobbyists and regular Joes all around the world are now discovering the joys of 3D printing through the proliferation of cheap printers. That means 3D printers are now being used to create more things, but what kind of things?
3D Hubs, a 3D printer owner community, has published a study using the data is has collected over the past year from 1,163 printers. Using this data, they have put together a report on how 3D printers are being used.
To start us off, let’s look at what people are using 3D printers for. Unsurprisingly, most people are still using 3D printers to make prototypes. After that, gadgets, scale models, gifts and phone add-ons round out the top five. Interestingly enough, toys are being made the least despite 3D printers having proven that they can make excellent (if not creepy) toys.
The color category is a little more interesting as there’s far more variety in the amount of colored plastics available. Despite the variety, the top five colors are white, blue, red, green and black. It’s not until further down the list that you start to see more unique colors, like glow in the dark materials.
There may be a variety of colors available, but nothing can beat the variety of 3D printer hardware currently on the market. In this category, you can see that the big players like Ultimaker, MarketBot and RepRap dominate the playing field, but there are a lot of people rocking less established 3D printers as well.
Finally, here’s a look at 3D printer distribution across Europe, North and South America. Most 3D Hubs users are based in Europe, but North America represents with a strong showing in MakerBot Replicator ownership.
3D Hubs has some other statistics, including a breakdown of the kinds of plastic people use, in the study. You can check it out here.