We’ve conducted a survey among 500 of our Community Members in order to find out how YouMagine is doing and what tools we have to build in order to help 3D printing. Since we like to share and we want to build tools for the future of Distributed Innovation we made some fun graphics for you. We thought that this was a good idea since this is the largest survey that maps the 3D printing community. The first post about the survey results are here the second is here and you are currently reading the final one.
On average our community members 3D print 21 things per month. This is an indication that the 3D printer is becoming a part of people’s lives. Reliability of the printer is especially important if people want to make things often.
34% of our community use their 3D printer every single day. For them the 3D printer is an appliance that they continually use. 11% use there 3D printer rarely. For them their 3D printer is not currently a significant part of their lives. 50% of the community uses their printer at least 4 times a week. These usage numbers are encouraging and mean that fore this group the 3D printer is not a toy but rather a tool that they use continually.
If we look at what slicing software people use then we find that some slicers that were popular only a few years ago have virtually fallen completely out of use. 58% of people use Cura and 23% use Slic3r which means that these two open source slicers account for the vast majority of 3D prints. Its also good to know that Ultimaker’s Cura is so popular. Simplify3D is doing quite well having an implied market share of 10%.
If we look at what people like to make then the most popular single category is household items with people preferring to make practical things that solve real world problems such as hooks, housings, repairs and enhancements for daily life. We see a lot of very practical things on YouMagine from enhancements for Ikea furniture, solutions for organizing tools, kitchen paper holders, table cloth clips, hooks, organizers for batteries and cradles for electric toothbrushes. Enhancing your daily existence with 3D printers to organize your life may not be what gets the headlines but it is what a lot of people are actually using 3D printers for. The second most popular item is 3D printer enhancements. We see a lot of things on the site from practical spool holders, to a camera mount for the Robo3D, Ultimaker fan mounts, calibration tools for Kossel’s, bearings,, CoreXY brackets, a turntable for your printer, Printrbot extruders, to complete 3D printers such as MonkeySh#tFight, the iTopie and the Spatial One. Those most interested in 3D printing are very often interested in improving their own printers and sharing the results.
We asked our community what the best 3D printing materials supplier was. Over 33% of the sample has not found one indicating that while people have been trying out vendors they have not yet found a reliable supplier. 30% of people entered a name of a vendor which was unique. The 3D printing materials market is therefore very fragmented with many vendors in many countries selling filament. The most popular choice was ColorFabb followed by Faberdashery and then Amazon. This shows us that the online retailer is already making an impact on the 3D printing market through its 3D printing offerings.
In general we can conclude that 3D printers are, for some, becoming a daily addition to their lives chiefly through the making of fun gadgets and practical household items. People want more reliable, bigger and faster 3D printers and they want the process of designing things and printing them to be easier. People really like PLA as a build material but have not found a reliable vendor for it. Bed adhesion is still among the most pressing problems for 3D printer users. And at YouMagine we really need to improve our search ! We would like to thank those 500 community members who participated in this survey. We hope to use their information and feedback to further improve our site and guide us to building tools for the future.