Getting to Know 3-D Printing: An Overview for Investors
Getting to Know 3-D Printing:
An Overview for Investors
3-D Printing Basics
Also known as additive
• It’s a process that
“prints” an object layer
by layer in a range of
• Creates less waste than
3-D Printing Basics
Industrial-grade 3-D printers can print objects as long as 4 meters.
3-D Printing Strengths
No assembly required!
• It can print really
complicated objects in
• Frees up valuable
resources and could
• More creative freedom
in design process.
3-D Printing Weaknesses
It’s slow as molasses.
• Prints can take hours or
even days for bigger jobs.
• Objects often lack
smoothness thanks to
“staircase” effect of layerby-layer-printing process.
• Still not appropriate for
most large manufacturing
Major 3-D Printing Technologies
Fused Deposition Modeling
• Extrusion-based layer-bylayer-printing process
Selective Laser Sintering
• Granular material selectively
fused together with a laser
• Powder bed of material with
inkjet-style print head to bind
• UV light sensitive resin
“cured” layer by layer
Common 3-D Printing Materials
• Metal powders
• Ceramic powder
• Glass powder
3-D Printing Market Opportunity
390% Growth in 9 Years
• Wohlers Associates estimates the 3-D printing industry
will grow from $2.2 billion in 2012 to $10.8 billion by
• At projected growth rate, the industry is expected to
double in size roughly every 3.75 years.
• Represents a 19.3% per year compounded annual growth
5 Ways to Invest
3D Systems (NYSE: DDD)
• Largest by revenue and most diversified 3-D printing company around.
• Offers 3-D printing in plastic, metal, ceramic, and even sugar.
Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS)
• 2nd largest player, focuses solely in plastics segment.
ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE)
• Specializes in metal and sand printing for industrial customers that need large
voxeljet (NYSE: VJET)
• German company that offers largest print beds in industry primarily for metal
Arcam (NASDAQOTH: AMAVF)
• Swedish company that specializes in metal printing for aerospace and medical
implants. Trades over-the-counter in U.S.
These Stocks Are Expensive!
Trailing P/E Ratio
Forward P/E Ratio
•Investors are pricing in high growth expectations for 3-D printing.
•Sky-high valuations = a higher degree of investment risk.
With such high valuations, it’s important to set the right
expectations going forward:
• 3-D printing stocks have rallied tremendously over the last
year. Arcam, ExOne, and 3D Systems have more than doubled
in value in the last year.
• As a result, investing in 3-D printing requires a long-term time
horizon. Thinking in 5-10 year terms will likely serve you well.
• 3-D printing investors are almost guaranteed to experience
high volatility in the future. A high tolerance for risk is crucial.
1 Must-Own Stock for 2014
• The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has
selected his No. 1 stock for 2014.
• It’s one of those stocks that could make you rich.
• Just click below to access the report and find out the
name of this under-the-radar company.