It’s never a bad idea to invest in the next big thing, though caution should be used. At times, it can appear a game-changer has entered the market, but it ends up being short-lived. Though this could be the case with 3D printing, it’s unlikely.
Some think of this trend as a novelty for children, but it’s much bigger than that if you dig beyond the surface. In fact, there’s a large chance that 3D printing technology may disrupt more than just a few industries. For this reason, it’s a great time to invest in some 3D printing stocks. Yet, there’s so many of them, how do you choose which ones to take advantage of?
A Little History of 3D Printing
While you may not realize it, this manufacturing process has been around since 1984. Yet, it has grown and changed since the beginning.
In 2012 sales of 3D printers were around $1.3 billion, but by 2020 these numbers have risen to $5.2 billion.
When you think about why, it makes sense. Traditional manufacturing techniques are expensive when only one unit is created, but as output levels increase, costs decrease. It’s different with 3D printing. The fact is, the cost to create products is the same regardless of how many you’re making.
The only downside to creating one item is that you won’t receive discounts from buying the raw materials in bulk. However, accuracy is always the same, so it doesn’t matter if you print one or 100.
Additionally, overhead is lower, lead times are shorter, and customization is simple. Thanks to these things, 3D manufacturing is set to change the game. This technology is already being used in certain industries such as automotive, construction, medical, manufacturing, defense, and aerospace.
So, Which 3D Printing Stocks Should You Invest In?
FARO – Faro Technologies
This company focuses on designing imaging software, realization systems, and 3D measurements. FARO is known to provide services to law enforcement, manufacturing, and the construction industry. They offer devices that can be used for surveying, building, investigating crime and accident scenes, and more.
The company as been around since 1981, and at around only $53 per share, it’s a great investment.
DDD – 3D Systems Corporation
This company is a leader in their industry. Established in 1983, the company has had great success through their use of innovation. They offer a diverse platform which offers 3D printers, materials, software, and on-demand manufacturing services.
Though they’ve had issues in the past, 3D systems has done a great job at reinventing their company. As of 2017, their revenue was around $646.8 million. Their share prices range anywhere from $6.81 to $12.56 each. Currently, it’s on the lower end of the spectrum making it a great time to buy.
SSYS – Stratasys Ltd.
This company was created in 1988, and alongside 3D Systems, is considered another leader in the 3D industry. They are known for their creation of 3D production systems for direct digital manufacturing systems, office-based rapid prototyping, and 3D printers.
They are incorporated in Israel, and entered into a venture agreement not too long ago. Since then, they’ve seen a steady rise in revenue. Stock prices range anywhere from $15.67 to $16.18 per share. Given that the company produces systems that engineers use around the world, they are not likely going anywhere soon.
ADSK – Autodesk
Perhaps the most expensive of the stocks on our list, Autodesk, Inc. focuses on the development of many large applications. They service many industries including engineering, media, construction, architecture, product design, and manufacturing.
They have software that is used for complex visualizations and simulations. Though it’s not their only business, 3D printing is an important part of it. Autodesk created a line of applications such as Fusion 360, 3Ds Max, Netfabb, and more for the medical industry. More recently, they’ve partnered with General Motors to use 3D components to make electric vehicles. With the help of Autodesk’s 3D printing components, GM will be able to create materials that are higher strength, yet still lightweight.
Their current revenue is at $2.57 billion per year, with stock prices over $200 per share. Though the share price is high, it’s a great choice for investors as it will only go up as their deal with General Motors comes to fruition.
MTLS – Materialize NV
Materialize is a giant in the 3D printing industry. They are primarily known for software systems such as additive manufacturing and healthcare applications. They have several large partnerships that should prove to be lucrative such as HP, HCL, and BASF.
The company has been in the business for 25 years, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere. Stock prices for Materialize range from the $10 range up to about $23. This is a great stock to buy when it’s on the lower end of the spectrum, as it will generally go back up quickly.
In conclusion, there are many 3D printing stocks to invest in. The best thing you can do is research each company to see how long they’ve been in business, and what kinds of future projects/partnerships they’re working on. When you find one like Autodesk at a lower price, it’s best to jump on it. The industry is just beginning to grow, so who knows how high these stocks may go within the next few years.