3D Printing may be the wave of the future, or it may just be a revitalization of the past. People are always looking for the next big thing to invest in. If you can find that innovative technology to purchase stocks in, there could a very profitable outcome for you. Many feel that 3D printing is that world changing technology. I’ll give you some of the primary 3D printing stocks and its for you to decide which process to purchase stocks in, if you choose to do so at all. If you’re unsure about the stock market investment process, take a look at our beginner’s course on How to Invest in the Stock Market.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of making three dimensional, solid objects of any shape based off of a digital model. For more information on 3D printing, check out our course on 3D Printing the Future. The 3D printing technology has been used in architectural prototypes, construction, car parts, industrial design, military, aerospace, dental and medical, biotech, footwear, education, eyewear, food, fashion, jewelry and a wide variety of other fields as well. What you may not know is that the technology has been around since the 1980’s. The major difference now is that 3D printers are actually affordable to the general public now, which was not the case in the past. In fact, between 2011 and 2012, the market for 3D printers spiked up 29%!
Now that you’re interested in the 3D printing market, you have to figure out which aspect of the field to invest in. There are stocks for manufacturers, software developers, medical and biological companies, and 3D scanner manufacturers. Here are some of the recommended stocks that you can look into before deciding what the best investment is for you!
3D Printer Manufacturers
- Hewlett-Packard Company (HP)
HP creates technology, products, software, and provides solutions and services to individuals, and small to large businesses. Some of the services they offer include business process outsourcing, tech support, tech maintenance, support services, consulting and integration services, application development, and imaging and printing products and services.
- Group Gorge
The company is primarily found within the field of safety systems, industrial projects, and protection in nuclear environments. This includes producing robotics for difficult environments, control command systems, and simulators for the defense, aviation, homeland security, nuclear energy and offshore departments. The company was founded in 1990, under the name Finuchem, but the name was eventually changed to Group George. They are based out of Paris, France.
- Camtek LTD.
They design, develop, and manufacture automatic optical inspection systems. These computerized systems optically inspect different electronic product components for defects caused during the manufacturing process. This company is based in Israel and was founded in 1987.
- Voxeljet AG
They offer 3D printers and on-demand parts. There are two components to the company, Systems and Services. The Systems department concentrates on production, development and sale, whereas the Services department prints on-demand parts at its service center. They primarily work in the automotive, aerospace, film and entertainment, art and architecture, engineering, and consumer product markets. They were founded in 1999 and are headquartered in Germany.
ExOne creates, manufacturers, and sells 3D printing machines and products around the world. They have markets in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The company has Print, Flex, Lab, and Max machines to help engineers create industrial prototypes and parts. They even have a special machine designed for conventional and exotic materials, known as an ExMicro Orion. Some of their primary markets include automotive, heavy equipment, aerospace, energy, oil, and gas. They also offer replacement parts and consumables.
- 3D Systems Corporation
3D Systems is a 3D printer provider, based around the US, Europe and Asia. In addition to 3D printers, they also produce print materials, custom parts and creative content design and development tools.
- Stratasys, Inc.
They manufacture 3D printers and rapid prototyping systems for office based RP and direct digital manufacturing markets. The products that the company develops, including printers, RP systems, and consumable materials are used in the education, architecture, defense, aerospace, medical, business equipment, automotive, and consumer-products markets.
3D Scanner Manufacturers
- Perceptron Inc.
The company develops, produces, and sells non-contact measurement, scanning, and inspection solutions for industrial companies. The have unique automated systems to help with 3D scanning in various markets, including AutoGauge, AutoGage Plus, AutoFit, AutoScan, AutoGuide and Helix. They were founded in 1981.
- Faro Technologies Inc.
FARO creates, manufactures, and supports software-based 3D measurement and imaging systems for manufacturing, industrial, building construction, and forensic purposes. The company offers quite a few unique products including FARO Laser ScanArm, FARO Laser Tracker Vantage, FARO Gage, FARO 3D Imager AMP and FARO SCENE. This company was also founded in 1981.
Medical & Biological 3D Printing
- Organovo Holdings, Inc.
This company develops 3D human tissue printing technology for creating tissue for research and surgical purposes, which works across various tissue and cell types. They are primarily involved in the fields of cardiovascular medicine, medical research, and transplant medicine. The company was founded in 2007.
- Autodesk, Inc.
This company designs software and services to provide business solutions through technology. The have departments in Business, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Manufacturing and Media and Entertainment. They can help customers turn their imaginations into reality by designing and creating digital prototypes of their ideas.
- Dassault Systemes S.A.
They provide software solutions and consulting services for companies in various different sectors, aerospace and defense, transportation, offshore, industrial equipment, high tech, architecture, engineering and construction, consumer goods, life sciences, energy, and business services.
- Exa Corporation
They develop, sell, and support simulation software and services for vehicle manufacturers. One of the fantastic products it offers is PowerFLOW software solution suite to help re-create complicated fluid flow issues. The company has markets all over the world.
- Parametric Technology Corporation, Inc.
PTC helps to facilitate the design of products and improve product development for companies. One product the company created, is an internet based management program for customers, another product helps enhance customer support, and many other products are involved in math, design, and literacy fields.
- Cimatron Ltd.
They create, manufacture, and support computer-aided design/computer aided manufacturing software products. The company offers CimatronE provides tools, applications, and process-automation for the manufacturing sector. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Givat Shmuel, Israel.
- Ansys Inc.
They create engineering simulation software and services that are used by engineers and researchers in the fields of aerospace, manufacturing, electronics, energy, automotive, biomedical, education and defense. The company has an academically based product line with emphasis on research and teaching.
Since interest in products and their value fluctuates with the passage of time and change in the world, it is difficult to tell how profitable the 3D printing market will be. As of the beginning of this year, Stratasys shares are down 13%, 3D Systems are down 16% and ExOne shares are down a whopping 21%. While that is not determinative, you may want to find companies with a more steady incline.
There is definitely potential in the 3D printing market, so if you have the interest and you want to take a chance, shoot for the moon! For a more basic guide of the A,B, & C’s, check out our course on 3D printing. If, on the other hand, you have your own printer and you are looking to start a business, check out our course on How to Make Money with 3D Printing.