3D printing is a technology that has revolutionized the manufacturing process. Since its inception in producing models, 3D printing has expanded to include the printing of whole structures. There are also ideas to employ 3D printing technology to construct Mars and Moon bases.
Obviously, 3D printing is capable of a variety of applications, and it will undoubtedly be utilized for a variety of additional purposes in the future. Those who are aware of this might gain from it by investing in 3D printing stocks, basically betting on their usefulness in future technology.
What is 3D printing, and how does it work?
On a computer, three-dimensional things are developed for 3D printing. The computer instructs the printer to deposit precise layers of material, such as plastic or metal, to construct an actual item.
The technology pertains to the realm of ‘additive manufacturing,’ in which an item is created by fusing together several material fragments. Additive manufacturing is one of the three ways a product may be created. The others are subtractive manufacturing,’ in which an enormous block of material is chipped away and shaped, and molding,’ in which the appropriate quantity of material is shaped or molded into a product.
Should you invest in 3D systems?
The technology has crucial applications. However, adoption varies greatly. In several respects, additive manufacturing is still maturing.
Currently, it has evident applications in handicrafts, animation, toys, prototypes, and some medical prostheses, but it is still in its infancy.
Over time, 3D printing may play a significant part in power tools, home renovation, furniture, bicycles, and other industries.
Investing in such a revolutionary technology makes it obvious, but choosing which company to invest in is more difficult. Let’s examine some of the leading candidates.
Are 3D printing shares a good investment?
Yes, they may be, especially if you examine the present market, which has witnessed an increase in worth and appeal for the whole industry. However, some of these companies have been in existence for almost 30 years and have earned little profit during that period, so it is prudent to undertake thorough research before investing.
In 2012, there was an increase in interest in the 3D printing business, which was advantageous for several companies functioning at the time. 3D printing was marketed as a game-changing technology, but it has not taken off as anticipated. Due to the prohibitive costs of materials and printers, many individuals and companies avoided 3D printing.
All of this has altered in recent years, particularly during the coronavirus epidemic, which disrupted global supply networks. Manufacturers resumed their focus on the industry, and a dramatic increase in 3D printing became evident. Additionally, technological advancements and technology reductions have aided the sector.
3D-printing sector pros and cons
These stocks have enormous promise since 3D printing is adaptable and expanding quickly. Investing in 3D stocks has downsides, though.
The 3D printing market is expanding quickly. 3D printing, like many sub-industries in the technology industry, is a developing trend. According to Statista, the worldwide 3D-printing industry was valued at $12.6 billion in 2020; however, by 2026, this number is projected to increase to $37.2 billion, nearly doubling in value over the course of six years.
There are several uses for 3D printing. Three-dimensional printing is affecting several industries, including aerospace, automotive, and healthcare. Even though its widespread acceptance may take some time, it appears that this once-niche sub-industry will continue to expand. Investors have the chance to back potentially revolutionary technology.
Cons of 3D-printing stocks
There are advantages to investing in this fledgling industry, but 3D-printing stocks have distinct dangers.
As this technology continues to grow in popularity, more and more businesses will enter the 3D-manufacturing race. In addition to the fierce rivalry among startups for funding and influence, investors must also be careful of well-established companies entering the market. As bigger corporations adopt this technology and invest in their own 3D-printing operations, the viability of smaller tech businesses may be compromised.
Long-term growth estimates for the 3D-printing industry are predominantly optimistic, but investors should be aware that the trip will not be linear. Before investing in stocks related to 3D printing, be prepared for volatility.
Proto Laboratories, Inc. (PRLB)
Proto Labs is a “digital manufacturer” of unique prototypes and offers on-demand production of components utilizing 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer imaging technologies. The Minnesota company was founded in 1999 and has since developed to stay up with cutting-edge techniques.
PRLB’s transition from a more conventional fabricator to a 3D printing stock enables it to capitalize on the benefits of this technology while relying on its current business and client ties. As a consequence, it is comfortably profitable and growing; profits per share should increase from $1.55 last year to $1.67 this year and then to $2.04 in fiscal 2023. Due in part to these financials, the stock is down around 10 percent this year through June 17, while the S&P 500 as a whole has dropped almost twice as much.
Hubs, situated in the Netherlands, was bought by Proto Labs in 2021 for $280 million to expand its 3D printing partner network. This should ensure this dynamic stock’s continued development in the years to come.
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM)
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM) is an Israel-based 3D printing company engaged in the research and development of 3D printed electronics, such as printers devoted to printing multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs) and the creation of nanotechnology-based inks. The company comes tenth on our list of the ten best stocks to purchase in the 3D printing industry.
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM) reported on October 5 that it had reached the last delivery milestone for its Fabrica 2.0 System for micro precision additive manufacturing to a Western Homeland Security Agency. In addition, the partnership between the company and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation on September 7 yielded more than $2.77 billion in contract research.
By the conclusion of the second quarter of 2021, eleven of the 873 elite hedge funds monitored by Insider Monkey owned Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM). Their combined holdings were worth around $173,9 million. During the first and second quarters of 2021, the number of hedge funds did not change.
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM) announced sales of $0.81 million for the fiscal second quarter of 2021, an increase of about 179.3 percent over the prior-year quarter. With 16.3 million shares, Catherine Wood’s ARK Capital Management is the company’s largest stakeholder.
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM) is a noteworthy 3D printing stock to purchase, comparable to Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), HP In. (NYSE: HPQ), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTN), and Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM).
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS)
Stratasys participated in the 3D printing stock boom and crash of the early 2010s, but its company has persisted. Early in the COVID-19 epidemic, sales dipped, but the Israel-based company is now gaining new production contracts and regaining lost ground.
Stratasys services a varied clientele, including producers of aerospace and automotive components, medical and dental enterprises, and makers of simple consumer goods. In addition to offering a vast selection of 3D printer models, Stratasys produces software to assist consumers in reducing the time between design and printing.
Stratasys is not the fastest-growing company on our list, but it is profitable (based on free cash flow) and has more than $500 million in cash and investments, as well as no debt. In 2022, management expects the return on its years of research and development in additive manufacturing to increase.
Desktop Metal (DM)
Desktop Metal’s third-quarter results for investors will be released on November 15 after a delay of about one week. However, investors should already understand the company’s direction. Desktop Metal is increasing the output of the P-50 Production System.
The company is increasing its production capacity to produce what it claims is the world’s quickest method for large-scale 3D printing of metal parts. CEO Ric Fulop remarked, “After a lengthy development period, our Production System P-50 solution is witnessing rising pent-up demand. As we continue to convert these prospects, enhancing our in-house final assembly skills has become a crucial step in growing the use of our Single Pass Jetting technology.”
According to analyst target prices, there is upside potential in DM stock at present pricing. According to our forecasts, DM stock might trade at around $13, yielding reasonable profits at present prices of around $9.
Ansys Inc. (ANSS)
Similar to Autodesk and Proto Labs, Ansys is not just focused on 3D printing. Ansys is a large software company that focuses on engineering and simulation. Ansys generates over $2 billion in annual revenue and is profitably run. Numerous specialist applications are already dominated by the company, which also has a big and loyal client base. In an effort to bolster Ansys’ electric machine design services, the company recently announced the purchase of Motor Design Ltd. In the field of software, the company provides 3D printing simulation tools to aid businesses in their additive manufacturing processes. The program addresses the design, preparation, and printing phases of the printing process. Although Ansys is large enough that its 3D printing business will not make or break the company, it might provide a significant boost if the industry becomes more ubiquitous.
FARO Technologies (NASDAQ: FARO)
FARO Technologies designs, develops, manufactures, distributes, and provides support for computer-aided imaging and measuring equipment and software. They are utilized for checking components and assemblies, production planning, recording big volume areas or constructions in 3D, surveying, and construction, in addition to accident and crime scene reconstruction. FARO’s technologies are utilized by about 15,000 clients running over 30,000 installations worldwide. Consider investing in drone stocks if you want to profit from the advancement of technology.
The quarterly revenue and gross margin breakdown are depicted in the graph below. The company has maintained its income during the pandemic setback. In addition, the company has maintained its gross margin ratio despite a little decline in Q2 2020.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)
Although HP Inc. is not only a 3D printing company, a portion of its efforts are devoted to utilizing 3D printing technology for conventional production. It is making headway with its Multi Jet Fusion technology, and in 2017 it presented the world’s first state-of-the-art laboratory to assist businesses in developing, testing and delivering the next generation of 3D printing materials and applications.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and HP are actively cooperating on a number of proofs-of-concept 3D printed accessories for the 2022 Ford Maverick vehicle and the new Ford Integrated Tether System (FITS) open accessories platform. Additionally, HP and Ford have a relationship focused on recycling 3D-printed materials into automotive components. Additional cooperation initiatives are underway between the American multinationals and General Motors (NYSE: GM), Nissan (TYO:7201), and Volkswagen (ETR: VOW3).
HP’s 3D printing hub in Guangdong, China, places it at the core of the $12 trillion global manufacturing industry. This position demonstrates HP’s dedication to the 3D printing business.
Introduced in 2019, HP pioneered its 3DaaS business models to assist clients in scaling up to mass production by increasing financial flexibility and business agility. Customers of HP are rapidly adopting the concept, which proved to be extraordinarily advantageous during the COVID-19 pandemic’s volatility.
Enrique Lores, CEO of HP, stated recently that the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the need of being able to rapidly produce items on-site during emergencies. “It demonstrates how 3-D printing has the potential to revolutionize the industrial industry,” said Lores. This is an excellent illustration of its powers.
General Electric Company (GE)
General Electric’s GE Additive division focuses on additive manufacturing. As a global leader, GE Additive employs cutting-edge technology to enhance the operations and performance of enterprises. The company operates in several industries, including healthcare, energy, and automobiles. Different revenue-generating companies, notably Concept Laser and Arcam EBM, were bought by the company, therefore enhancing its expertise and assets.
GE was in a consistent decades-long decline. Recently, it has rebounded from its lows and doubled in value.
Materialise (NASDAQ: MTLS)
Materialise, established in Belgium, supplies 3D printing enterprises with software. Its adaptable platform enables businesses in industries such as aerospace, healthcare, and consumer products to develop breakthrough 3D printing software. It boasts the industry’s largest staff of software developers and one of the world’s largest 3D printing facilities.
Software development is only one of its three business divisions; the other two are serving the medical industry and manufacturing 3D printing items for other industries. BASF, the world’s largest chemical manufacturer, committed $25 million to Materialise in 2018 as part of a commitment to explore and develop new uses.
Since its first public offering in 2014, the share price has increased steadily. Nonetheless, covid and global supply chain concerns increased its stock, leading in a 400% increase in 2020 before it returned to pre-pandemic levels. MTLS is a thriving company whose revenue has improved in recent years. The company’s most recent financial statements for 2021 reveal a net profit of $10 million and sales growth of 28% compared to the previous year.
ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE)
Despite its lackluster stock, it is one of the stocks with the strongest growth momentum. Investing in XONE is a gamble on future profitability, particularly when the globe returns to normal and the economy begins to recover.
The Wall Street Journal predicts that the company will increase by as much as 46 percent over the next five years. It has also offered investors a return on investment of 123 percent, or 167 percent, over the last three years. Consequently, notwithstanding recent claims, the company is still seen as a lucrative venture.
ExOne is primarily recognized as a global supplier of 3D printing machines and printed goods. The company creates 3D printing equipment and custom-printed goods for its clients. In addition, it provides components, repairs, and a variety of other 3D-printing-related services.
In a sorry state of circumstances, the company’s revenues decreased by 2.7%. This corresponds to a loss of $6,1 million, which is more than the previous quarter’s deficit. In spite of this, the company reports price increases and attributes the loss to pandemic-related difficulties.
3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. We can produce wonderful new goods and address some of the world’s most difficult challenges using 3D printers.
3D printing has been particularly beneficial to the medical industry since it enables doctors to create customized solutions for their patients. Now is an excellent moment to add 3D printing stocks to your portfolio, as the industry is only beginning to grow. In the future, we may even be able to utilize 3D printers in our own houses.