It's no secret the United States led the world in technological innovation throughout the 20th century. Landing on the moon, creating the atom bomb and the internet were all claimed by American innovators.
What's less certain is whether American dominance in 21st century technology will prevail.
According to the new quarterly report by Dutch based 3d printing service 3D Hubs, half of all global demand for online 3d printing services comes from American businesses.
"North America and Europe are clear leaders in online 3D printing, representing together almost 90% of the global demand," the report states. "The US alone amounts for 45% of the demand worldwide."
If you were to guess where in the United States much of the demand came from, it would be unsurprising.
"California was by far the state with the highest online 3D printing demand in 2018. More than 20% of the total US demand - over 70,000 parts - were shipped to customers based there," the report from 3D Hubs says.
"The strong tech startup scenes of San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and San Diego are a substantial driver of this trend. New York, Texas and Massachusetts follow. Hardware development and the startup scene is also active in these areas. This statistic shows how professional users are driving the demand in the US, but still mainly for prototyping purposes."
While end use parts for major automotive and aerospace firms such as BMW and Airbus are becoming reality, the primary utility globally remains prototyping in the design phase.
"Different analysts estimate the current annual revenue of the global 3D printing market to be between $9.3 and $11.5 billion in 2018. These figures include sales of 3D printing systems, materials, software, and services. By averaging these evaluations, a more accurate estimation of the current market size can be assessed at approximately $10.2 billion."