Explore the Illusion: Is Investing in 3D Printing Wise?

3D printing machine

Today, the 3D printing technology has reached a point where the possibilities of manufacturing could be boundless. From custom surgical devices to engines for the aerospace industry, the 3D printing sector seems to be the best place that harbors innovative ideas that would push forward into the future the manufacturing industry. This being said, have you considered investing in 3D printing?

In this article, we’ve looked at the main players in the 3D printing industry, how they fared on the stock market and predictions for this industry. This is thus a short guide for you if you consider investing in 3D printing.

Top 6 Biggest Companies in the 3D Printing Industry

The 3D printing technology has been in development for more than 30 years, but it is only recently that it reached its peak. Moreover, 3D printing is rather a product that focuses on commercial purposes and not personal use.  Desktop 3D printers haven’t progressed as much as the industrial printers, where there have been great strides in the medical and automobile industries.

As a result, the biggest companies today mainly focus on providing commercial services. Here are the biggest companies today you should consider if you want to invest in 3D printing.

1. Stratasys

Stratasys is one of the oldest companies in the industry today. It’s been around since 1988 and has grown into an industry giant. It operates in the healthcare, aerospace, automotive and education markets. Their services focus on providing systems with complex geometries as models for a wide range of thermoplastic materials.

However, Stratasys has been struggling with its revenue in the last few years as the demand for their products has slowed down. But because of it being an industry leader, with vast intellectual property at hand, it is rather a guarantee that Stratasys is going to remain in the top. It is a fairly set safe bet to consider if you’re interested in investing in 3D printing. As of now, Stratasys is down 34% but most mostly likely remains relatively stable given its background.

  • Trading as: NASDAQ:SSYS;
  • OPEN: $26.30;
  • MARKET CAP: $1.39B;
  • REV. PER EMPLOYEE: $270.44K.

2. 3D Systems

Another old giant, 3D Systems has been around for over 3 decades. Its current CTO, Chuck Hull, invented the stereolithography apparatus in 1986, patented the process and sold the patent through the 3D Systems company. This technology that uses photopolymerization as a manufacturing method is widely used in the medical industry as it can create accurate models of various anatomical parts based on CT or MRI scans. The process is quick. But the cost of photopolymers can be quite high.

Like Stratasys, 3D Systems is struggling to turn a profit, but as of now, it is up by 27%. Also, their market cap is $2,39 billion, enough for them to hold their leading place in this year’s market.

  • Trading as: NYSE:DDD;
  • OPEN: $20.75;
  • MARKET CAP: $2.39B;
  • REV. PER EMPLOYEE: $260.47K.

3. ExOne

ExOne specializes in producing 3D printing machines and 3D printing products. Some of them are pumps and heavy equipment to customers in the industrial market. With its Binder Jetting technology, ExOne uses liquid binding agent instead of heat during the build process. Thus, it eliminates the need for a build plate and very large objects can be printed quickly.

Moreover, the new ExOne Exerial Industrial 3D printers can be connected so that multiple objects can be printed at the same time, helping in the development of mass production. As of now, ExOne is up 39%. Also, it does not seem to be facing any decrease in revenue in the near future. So it is worth looking at when considering investing in 3D printing.

  • Trading as NASDAQ:XONE;
  • OPEN: $12.91;
  • MARKET CAP: $203.9M;
  • REV. PER EMPLOYEE: $162.6K.

4. Arcam

Arcam is a Swedish company, which began its story in 1997 in Mölndal. Arcam’s technology focuses solely on providing 3D printing metal components for the orthopedic implants and aerospace industries. The innovative Arcam Electronic Beam Melting process is able to build solid, metal components from metal powder that a powerful electron beam melts. The products are accurately producing, according to their CAD files. Also, it allows mass production with the help of the Arcam Multibeam, which is able to focus the beam on several melt pools.

Arcam has been doing fairly well since its inception. But there is the risk of being overtaken by other companies that could advance the 3D printing technology beyond the EBM.

  • Trading as NASDAQOTH:AMAVF;
  • OPEN: kr341.50;
  • MARKET CAP: kr7.08B;
  • REV. PER EMPLOYEE: kr1.96M.

5. Materialise

Another company to look out for is Materialise, one of the largest 3D printing facilities in the world based in Belgium. Initially, the company focused on software that processes data and transfers it into the 3D printers. Focusing mainly on products for the medical industry, Materialise developed the Mimics Software that helps in building surgical guides, implants or replicas.

However, now, the company has expanded into the automotive, aerospace and architecture sectors with the help of the Mammoth Stereolithography model. Continuously developing, Materialise has the potential to become a powerful 3D printing provider. So it is a good candidate when considering investing in 3D printing.

  • Trading as: NASDAQ:MTLS;
  • OPEN: $12.13;
  • MARKET CAP: $568.38M;
  • REV. PER EMPLOYEE: $91.5K.

3d printing engineer

6. Organovo

Organovo is a fairly recent 3D printing company, that focuses mainly on bioprinting technology. The company designs and produces functional human tissues that could revolutionize the medical industry. By printing a 3D model of a functional organ, researchers can test drugs without administering them to human subjects. Moreover, Organovo aims to design and build a human organ that doctors can transplant into the human body in order to replace or repair tissue.

Organovo shows all the signs that it’s on the road to provide ground-breaking therapies through its ExVive 3D bio printed models. These could change the shape of research in the medical industry.

  • Trading as: NASDAQ:ONVO;
  • OPEN: $2.58;
  • MARKET CAP: $272.97M;
  • REV. PER EMPLOYEE: $37.43K.

To Sum Them Up

Overall, the 3D printing industry seems to be taking the lead in developing future technologies. Mass production at low costs is one of its main advantages, apart from possible revolutions in the medical sector.

The industry was very much hyped in its inception and suffered a free fall in 2014. But it seems that today’s market is very promising, if you are considering investing in 3D printing.

Images: depositphotos.com.


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