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Is 3D Printing a Good Investment? Who are the Players?

Is 3D Printing a Good Investment? | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

/

March 2, 2021

The answer is, it depends on what the investment does after you buy it.  No one can predict a good investment but there are indicators that can help.

The 3d printing industry is expected to reach $40 billion by 2024 and is growing at a 26% growth rate annually.  It compares to the 28% growth rate of artificial intelligence or AI, which is good company to be associate with.  Both industries are viewed as world changers, so at that high-level view it would seem 3d printing might be a good investment.

Unfortunately, good investments aren’t usually determined at the high level.  They are determined in the trenches of specific companies.  Does the company have good management, do they execute well, do they make good decisions, does the product match the message? All good questions vital to making an investment successful.

While there are many companies associated with 3d printing, there are only a few publicly traded companies in which to invest, which we will detail below.  You may also consider investing in a less risky mutual fund or ETF fund that is focused on 3d printing.  

Only you can answer the question is 3d printing a good investment based on your research and risk tolerance.  What this article does is present a directory, of many of the 3d printing companies out there. By learning about the 3d companies you become more versed in what the industry has to offer which will ultimately determine if it is right for you.

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Table of contents:

Publicly Traded – 3D Printing Stocks

Proto Labs (PRLB)

Founded in 1999 by Larry Lukis, an entrepreneur and computer geek.  They office in the United States, Europe and Japan.  They are currently on their 3rd CEO in a 20-year span after the previous CEO stepped down for health-related issues.  They appear to have solid leadership.

Proto Labs is not purely a 3d printing company as they also perform traditional manufacturing.  However, their 3d business is centered around being a 3d printing service rather than manufacturing and selling their own 3d printers.  They work in both metal and plastic and specialize in customer specific short run parts.  

Their 3d printing revenue accounts for 14% of overall revenue.

They serve the medical, aerospace, automotive, and consumer electronics industries.

At this writing July 2020, Proto Labs stock was trading at$113.97 per share. Updated February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $222.33

3D Systems (DDD)

In 1983 Chuck Hull invented stereolithography and 3D printed his very first part after years of finding it difficult to get replacement parts.  Three years later in 1986 3D Systems was founded as the first 3D printing company in the world.  One year later in 1987 they commercialize the first 3D printer SLA-1 Stereolithography.

3D Systems makes 3D printers, on demand parts, and software.

100% of their revenue is 3d printing related.

They serve the aerospace, automotive, dental, durable goods, health care, jewelry, teaching and training industries.

At this writing July 2020, 3D Systems stock was trading at$6.81 per share. Updated February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $54.04

Stratasys (SSYS)

Founded in 1998 by Scott Crump and his wife and is now headquartered in Minnesota.  The idea came when Scott made a toy frog using a glue gun full of polyethylene and candle wax.  He conceived of the building the frog by applying layer by layer.

Stratasys is focused solely on 3d printing by manufacturing 3d printers, materials and 3d production systems.

They have struggled to be profitable since peaking more than 6 years ago and the competition seems to be taking market share.

They serve the aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, dental, medical, education, and railway industries.

At this writing July 2020, Stratasys stock was trading at $15.67 per share. Updated February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $52.28.

Materialise (MTLS)

Founded in 1990 by Wilfried Vancraen and headquartered in Belgium.  Vancraen, then only 20 years old, started the company after seeing 3d technology in a research facility in Germany.  He remains the CEO to this date.  Research shows founder led companies tend to out perform competition, and Materialise is showing as such.

They serve the aerospace, architecture, art and fashion, automotive, consumer goods, eye ware, healthcare, and machinery and equipment industries.

Materialise is 100% focused on 3D printing with 3 segments:  software (32% of business), services, and medical devices.  They do not manufacture 3d printers.

At this writing July 2020, Materialise stock was trading at $27.42 per share. Updated February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $76.90.

Other Publicly Traded – 3D Printing Stocks.

VoxelJet AG (VJET)

Founded in 1999,Germany.  A manufacturer of 3D printing systems for industrial customers.  Traded on the NYSE.  As of July 2020, trading at$1.68 per share. As of February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $28.96

ExOne Co (XONE)

Founded in 2005, Pennsylvania.  A 3D printer manufacturer and product printing for Industrial customers. Traded on NASDQ.  As of July 2020,trading at $8.38 per share.  As of February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $56.27

Organovo (ONVO)

Founded in 2007,California.  A 3D bioprinting technology company.  Traded on NASDQ.  As of July 2020, trading at $0.70 cents per share. As of February 10, 2021 this stock is trading at $18.50

SLM Solutions (SLGRF)

Founded in 2006,Germany.  A 3D printer manufacturer.  Traded on ETR.

Directory of Other 3D Printing Companies

3D Printing Magazine

All3DP – founded in 2014, Germany.  Online 3D printing magazine that educates, promotes, and reviews all things 3D printing.

3D Printing Marketplace

Cgtrader – founded in 2011, Lithuania.  Online 3D model marketplace, allowing buyers to buy 3D models or contract for 3D model design services.

Pinshape – founded 2013, Canada.  Online 3D printing marketplace, allowing people to share and sell 3D printable designs. (parent company Formlabs)

Threeding – founded 2013. Online 3D model marketplace, allowing buyers to buy sell, and exchange 3D models.

3D Printing Service

Shapeways – founded in 2007, Netherlands, a 3D printing service.

Sculpteo – founded 2009, France.  3D printing service.

3D Hubs – founded in 2013, Netherlands.  The worlds largest network of manufacturing services including 3D printing, CNC, Injection molding.  Sources your order to a manufacturer.

Makexyz – 3D printing service on demand.  They match customers with 3D printers.

Xometry – founded 2013, Maryland.  They provide manufacturing services for CNC, Sheet Metal, 3D Printing, Injection Molding. Match projects to manufacturer.

Voodoo Manufacturing – founded in 2015, Brooklyn. A 3D printing service with 200 plus 3D printers.

3D Printer Manufacturers

Makerbot – founded 2009, New York.  A 3D printer manufacturer. (parent company Stratasys)

Carbon – founded in 2013, California.  Supplier of 3D hardware, software, and materials focused on carbon digital light synthesis (DLS) technology.

Ultimaker – founded in 201l, Netherlands.  A 3D printer manufacturer making FFF type printers, software and branded materials.

Formlabs – founded in 2011, Massachusetts.  A 3D printer manufacturer and related software.

Markforged – founded in 2013, Massachusetts.  A 3D printer manufacturer.

Zortrax – founded in 2013, Poland.  A 3D printer and filaments manufacturer.

Desktop Metal – founded in 2015, Massachusetts.  A 3D printer manufacturer focused on engineers, designers and manufacturers.

Robo 3D – founded in 2012, California.  A 3D printer manufacturer.

M3D – founded in 2014, Maryland.  A manufacturer of 3D printers, flagship product is Micro 3D.

Aleph Objects – founded in 2011, Colorado.  A small 3D printer manufacturer focused on open source hardware and software.

XYZprinting - founded in 2013, Taiwan.  A manufacturer of a wide rand of 3D scanners, printers, color printers and printing materials.

Velo – founded in 2014. A 3D printer and software manufacturer.

FormAlloy – founded in 2016, California.  A 3D printer manufacturer.

Xact Metal – founded in Pennsylvania.  A 3D printer manufacturer.

LulzBot – founded in 2011, North Dakota.  A 3D printer manufacturer as well as parts and materials.

SeeMeCNC – founded in Indiana.  A 3d printer manufacturer, and filament supplier.

MakerGear – founded in 2009, Ohio.  A 3d printer manufacturer.

3D Printing Software

Autodesk (ADSK) – founded 1982, California.  Develops 3D printing software.

Trinckle 3D – founded in 2013, Germany.  Online 3D printing software.

Trimble – founded in 1978, California.  Develops 3d printing software (specifically SketchUp)

3D Printing Materials

Proto-Pasta – founded in Washington.  A 3D printing materials manufacturer.

3D-Printer-Filaments.com – founded in Nebraska.  Sell 3d printer filament.

GizmoDorks – founded in 2009, California.  Sell 3d printer filament.

JustPLA – Sell 3d printer filament.

NinjaTex – founded in Pennsylvania.  A 3d printing materials manufacturer.

MatterHackers – founded in 2012, California.  Supplies 3D printing materials and tools.

Other Cool Companies

TurboSquid – founded 2000, New Orleans.  Sells stock 3D models.  Not specifically for 3D printing.

Ponoko – founded in 2007, California.  Custom laser cutting.  Not specifically for 3D printing.

GrabCad – founded in 2009, Massachusetts.  Free cloud-based CAD file management environment. (parent company Stratasys)

Rinkak-services – 3D printing manufacturing management service.

Star Rapid – founded in 2005, China.  A rapid prototyping and low volume manufacturing service.  Rapid prototyping, plastic injection molding, CNC machining, Metal 3D printing, Pressure die casting, vacuum casting.

BQ – founded in 2009, Spain. Seller of electronics including 3D printers.

Afinia 3D – founded in 2009, Minnesota.  Sells 3d printers and scanners to the consumer market. (parent company Microboards Technology).

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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Is 3D Printing a Good Investment? Who are the Players?

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