Invest in 3d printing technology
Top 3D Printing Stocks for Q4 2022
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Best Value 3D Printing Stocks
Fastest Growing 3D Printing Stocks
3D Printing Stocks With the Best Performance
SSYS is top for value and performance and NNDM is top for growth
Noah has about a year of freelance writing experience. He's worked on his investing website dealing with topics such as the stock market and financial advice for beginners.
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Updated October 06, 2022
The 3D printing industry is made up of companies that provide products and services capable of manufacturing a range of products. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, creates physical objects from digital designs. The printing process works by laying down thin layers of material in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal, or cement, and then fusing the layers together. Though still too slow for mass production, it is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to disrupt the manufacturing logistics and inventory management industries. The 3D printing industry is comprised of only a handful of companies, including players such as Proto Labs Inc., Faro Technologies Inc., and Desktop Metal Inc.
The industry is so young that it has no meaningful benchmark index. But the performance of these stocks can be compared to the broader market as represented by the Russell 1000 Index. These stocks have not performed well. Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS), the best performing 3D printing stock, has dramatically underperformed the Russell 1000, which has provided a total return of -12.5% over the past 12 months. This market performance number and all statistics in the tables below are as of Sept. 20, 2022.
Here are the top three 3D printing stocks with the best value, fastest sales growth, and the best performance.
These are the 3D printing stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For companies in early stages of development or industries suffering from major shocks, this metric can be substituted as a rough measure of a business's value. A business with higher sales could eventually produce more profit when it achieves (or returns to) profitability. The price-to-sales ratio shows how much you're paying for the stock for each dollar of sales generated.
|Best Value 3D Printing Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio|
|Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS)||15.49||1.0||1.6|
|3D Systems Corp. (DDD)||9.00||1.2||2.0|
|Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB)||37.49||1.0||2.1|
- Stratasys Ltd.: Stratasys offers 3D printing solutions, such as 3D printers, polymer materials, a software ecosystem, and related parts. It serves a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and healthcare. On Sept. 13, Stratasys completed the merger of its MakerBot subsidiary with Ultimaker, which offers platforms used to make 3-D printers. Ultimaker is backed by NPM Capital. The merged company will keep the Ultimaker name and focus on providing solutions, hardware, software and materials to the industry. NPM Capital will have majority ownership of the new company at 53.5%, and Stratasys will own 46.5%.
- 3D Systems Corp.: 3D Systems provides 3D printing solutions. The company offers a range of hardware, software, and materials designed for additive manufacturing. Its products and services are used in a variety of industries and sectors, including aerospace, automotive, semiconductor, healthcare, and more.
- Proto Labs Inc.: Proto Labs is an e-commerce-based company that provides digital manufacturing services. It offers 3D printing, injection molding, CNC machining, and sheet metal fabrication. On Aug. 5, Proto Labs announced financial results for Q2 2022, the three-month period ending on June 30, 2022. Net income fell more than 80% to $2.6 million from the prior-year quarter while revenue rose 3.1%.
These are the 3D printing stocks with the highest YOY sales growth for the most recent quarter. Rising sales can help investors identify companies that are able to grow revenue organically or through other means and find growing companies that have not yet reached profitability. In addition, accounting factors that may not reflect the overall strength of the business can significantly influence earnings per share. However, sales growth can also be potentially misleading about the strength of a business, because growing sales on money-losing businesses can be harmful if the company has no plan to reach profitability.
|Fastest Growing 3D Printing Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||Revenue Growth (%)|
|Nano Dimension Ltd. (NNDM)||2.45||0.6||1,270|
|Desktop Metal Inc. (DM)||3.07||1.0||203.9|
|Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS)||15.49||1.0||13.3|
- Nano Dimension Ltd.: Nano Dimension is an Israel-based 3D printing company focused on developing equipment and software for 3D-printed electronics. It develops printers for multilayer printed circuit boards and nanotechnology-based inks. The company serves a range of industries, including consumer electronics, healthcare, aerospace, and automotive. On Sept. 1, Nano Dimension released Q2 2022 results. The company's net loss widened sharply to $40.0 million from a loss of $13.6 million in the same quarter a year earlier even as revenue soared more than 13-fold. The larger second-quarter loss was fueled partly by $10.9 million in non-cash adjustments for depreciation and amortization expenses, and share-based payments.
- Desktop Metal Inc.: Desktop Metal manufactures 3D printers and related equipment used to build complex parts from metal. It also offers 3D printing software. The company serves a range of industries, including automotive, consumer products, education, and heavy industry. On Aug. 08, the company reported Q2 2022 results. Desktop Metals' net loss increase nearly seven-fold to $297.3 million compared to the same quarter a year earlier even as revenue tripled.
- Stratasys Ltd.: See above for company description.
These are the 3D printing stocks that had the smallest declines in total return over the past 12 months out of the companies we looked at.
|3D Printing Stocks With the Best Performance|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)|
|Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS)||15.49||1.0||-34.5|
|Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB)||37.49||1.0||-50.6|
|Materialise NV (MTLS)||10.95||0.6||-53.9|
- Stratasys Ltd.: See above for company description.
- Proto Labs Inc.: See above for company description.
- Materialise NV: Materialise is a Belgium-based provider of additive manufacturing software and 3D printing services. It serves a range of industries, including healthcare, aerospace, and automotive. On Sept. 7, Materialise completed its acquisition of Identity3D, which makes products that encrypt, distribute, and track digital parts as they move through supply-chains. The value of the deal was not specified in the announcement.
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YCharts. "Financial Data. "
Stratasys Ltd. "Stratasys Completes Merger of MakerBot with Ultimaker."
Proto Labs Inc. "Proto Labs Q2 2022 Earnings Release."
Nano Dimension Ltd. "Earnings Press Release for Q2 2022."
Desktop Metals Inc. " Desktop Metals Second Quarter 2022 Earnings."
Materialise NV. "Materialise Acquires Indenity3D."
5 3D Printing Stocks to Consider in 2022
An in-depth look at the leading 3D printing stocks in the U.S stock market this year. Here’s what you need to know.
By Nicholas Rossolillo – Updated Jul 11, 2022 at 2:42PM
Back in the early 2010s, stocks were booming for 3D printing -- also known as additive manufacturing, a computer-controlled process in which three-dimensional objects are made. But the boom was followed by a bust as many pure-play 3D printing companies didn't immediately deliver on lofty expectations.
Rumors of the manufacturing technology's demise are clearly premature. These days, 3D printing is a high-growth niche that is steadily reshaping the manufacturing and industrial sectors. Some estimates point to a doubling in annual revenue from additive manufacturing between 2022 and 2026. Even growth investor Cathie Wood has launched a fund focused on manufacturing tech, The 3D Printing ETF (NYSEMKT:PRNT), via her company ARK Invest.
Here's what you need to know about 3D printing and additive manufacturing stocks for 2022:
Image source: Getty Images.
Investing in 3D printing stocks
The manufacturing of products in all corners of the economy is being revolutionized by 3D printing, from healthcare equipment to metal fabrication to housing construction. It's invading so many sectors that tech giants such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), and HP (NYSE:HPQ) have launched products aimed at 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Other engineering and software outfits such as Dassault Systemes (OTC:DASTY), ANSYS (NASDAQ:ANSS), and Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) have also gotten involved in 3D printing technology.
Here are five key players to consider for 2022 that are a more focused bet on 3D printing:
|Desktop Metal (NYSE:DM)||$1.3 billion||Recent IPO that focuses on metal fabrication technology.|
|Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS)||$1.5 billion||One of the original 3D printing pioneers, with a wide array of printers and supporting design software.|
|Xometry (NASDAQ:XMTR)||$1.9 billion||A manufacturing marketplace, including access to on-demand 3D printing services.|
|3D Systems (NYSE:DDD)||$1.9 billion||Another original 3D printing pioneer and the largest pure-play stock on 3D printing technology.|
|PTC (NASDAQ:PTC)||$11.7 billion||A manufacturing technology provider with a suite of software and related services for industrial businesses.|
1. Desktop Metal
This company is a recent entry into the 3D printing space after going public via a SPAC at the end of 2020. The stock has been a terrible market underperformer since then, losing three-quarters of its value as of spring 2022. However, Desktop Metal could still be a promising investment for the long term.
As its name implies, Desktop Metal develops 3D printing hardware and accompanying design software for metal and carbon fiber parts. The company's smaller systems can handle prototyping and one-off parts, and larger printers are production grade-designed for manufacturing facilities. Desktop Metal serves companies operating in automotive, consumer goods, and heavy industrial equipment businesses.
Despite a tenuous start as a public company, Desktop Metal was actually increasing revenue at a torrid triple-digit pace in 2021. Gross profit margins are thin, and the company generated a steep net loss, but that should improve over time as the business scales its operation. Desktop Metal also has several hundred million dollars in cash and investments to fund its expansion. It used some of these funds to acquire additive manufacturing peer ExOne at the end of 2021.
Stratasys was part of the early 2010s 3D printing stock boom and bust, but its business has endured. Sales took a dip early in the COVID-19 pandemic but are rebounding as the Israel-based company picks up new manufacturing contracts.
Stratasys serves a diverse set of customers, including aerospace and automotive parts manufacturers, medical and dental companies, and makers of basic consumer products. In addition to a wide array of 3D printer models, Stratasys develops software to help users accelerate the time between design and final printing.
It isn't the highest-growth name on this list, but Stratasys is profitable (on a free cash flow basis) and has more than $500 million in cash and investments on its balance sheet, as well as no debt. Management thinks its payoff from years of research and development into additive manufacturing will accelerate in 2022.
This is another newcomer to public markets. Xometry completed its initial public offering (IPO) over the summer of 2021, raising almost $350 million in cash in the process. As is often the case with new IPOs, the stock has underperformed since then. It has lost over half of its value from the time it started trading on public markets, but the business itself is rapidly growing.
Xometry is a marketplace for on-demand manufacturing of prototyping and mass production. It has a network of more than 5,000 suppliers that companies can call on to meet their fabrication needs. Among the suppliers on the Xometry platform are 3D printing companies, injection molding, and automated machining. The company reported having more than 28,000 active buyers utilizing its platform at the end of 2021.
Although it isn't profitable yet, Xometry's unique approach to the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry is growing fast. Like other names on this list, it has a sizable war chest of cash and short-term investments that it can spend on research and marketing as it tries to attract more suppliers and buyers to its marketplace.
4. 3D Systems
3D Systems was another early player in the 3D printing industry, and while it suffered through the boom-and-bust period of the early 2010s, its business has held steady for much of the past decade. After a brief dip during the early days of the pandemic, 3D Systems is back in growth mode.
The company develops printers and design software for all sorts of materials and industries (medical device makers, dental labs, semiconductor designers, aerospace, and automotive manufacturers). It claims leadership among independent 3D printing companies (as measured by sales). As the 3D printing industry expands in the coming years, 3D Systems thinks it will be able to attract lots of new business with its extensive experience and global reach.
As an established tech outfit in the manufacturing sector, 3D Systems offers investors the prospect of more stable growth, along with profitability. It also has a large net cash position from which it can consolidate its lead in 3D printers and software technology.
By far the largest company on this list, PTC is a longtime technology partner of manufacturing and industrial enterprises. Fast approaching $2 billion in annualized sales and highly profitable, PTC has all the tools needed to digitally transform industrial businesses.
Besides 3D printing computer-aided design software (ANSYS is a peer and software partner that also operates in this space), PTC specializes in augmented reality, industrial IoT (Internet of Things), and product life-cycle management software. Most of its revenue is subscription-based (including its Creo software that enables 3D printing), making for a stable and steadily growing business model that generates ample cash flow. PTC puts spare cash to work developing new products for its partners and makes bolt-on acquisitions of other software companies that enhance its overall portfolio.
As a larger company, PTC won't be the fastest-growing stock in the additive manufacturing and 3D printing space. However, the company has established itself as a leader in industrial technology and should be a primary beneficiary as the production of manufactured goods gets more efficient.
The future of 3D printing
Manufacturing technology is making inroads throughout the global economy by reducing the cost of production and localizing and speeding up the time it takes to deliver customer orders. This is far from mere hype. Nevertheless, as is the case with all technology investments, progress won't go straight up. Expect twists and turns in these stocks as they develop new methods to design and make products.
If you decide to invest, do so in a measured way. Maintain a diversified portfolio, be wary of stocks benefiting from investor over-optimism, and always leave spare cash to invest more when there are inevitable dips. Given enough time -- years and decades -- investing in 3D printing could eventually provide a big payoff.
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Nicholas Rossolillo has positions in Autodesk and PTC. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Autodesk, HP, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems, ANSYS, Dassault Systemes, PTC, and Trimble Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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3D printing market. Is it time to buy shares? / Habr
In this article I would like to talk about companies, each of which is a "unicorn". Shares of two of the three can already be bought on the New York Stock Exchange. There is a pattern: they were all born in the large Boston metropolitan area. And if Silicon Valley is a Mecca for software startups, then Boston, and especially the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is the Medina for manufacturing innovation.
I'll make it clear right away: I won't analyze the entire 3D printing market, but will focus on some of the most notable representatives of the desktop 3D printing segment. But even here everything is very conditional, since in the process of improving technology, products smoothly flow from one category to another, and roughly three main categories can be distinguished: desktop, professional and industrial. So…
In 2011, three American students founded Formlabs in their garage. It was headed by Max Lobowski. Born into a family of engineers - emigrants from Ukraine, from his youth he was interested in robotics and new technologies, attended various specialized additional classes in high school. After earning a bachelor's degree from Cornell University, he went on to graduate school at MIT, where he began designing his desktop 3D printer, which is both powerful and affordable.Max Lobowski
The friends were able to quickly get an angel investment, with which they launched their first product, the Formlabs Form 1 printer, in 2013. On the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, they managed to raise almost $ 3 million from more than 2,000 bakers from around the world, who were excited about the new product, which promised to make 3D printing accessible to almost everyone. At that time, there were models of printers on the market using the technology of illumination with a laser beam of photopolymer resin (SLA) with a price of 100 thousand dollars, Formlabs offered a printer for 1500 dollars. The company, of course, faced a lot of difficulties in the production of the first batch, but it managed to ship the printers to all buyers. And even though they were far from perfect, this made it possible to attract round A investments in the amount of 19million dollars and return the "angel" money.
The company then continued to improve its product and create an ecosystem like Apple, which includes 3D printers themselves, consumables (resins for various tasks), software for preparing models for printing, and post-processing equipment. In 2019, the company's turnover reached $100 million, in May 2021 it received $150 million in a round of E from the SoftBank Investment Advisers fund, valuing the company at $2 billion. After that, there was talk of an IPO, which would be an absolutely logical step, since investment funds are planning this in the future for 7-10 years, and this period has already come for investors of the first round.
However, despite high market expectations, Max Lobowski said in an interview with BizJournals that he is in no rush to go public: “We would rather take our time and better prepare to be a great public company… We make more money than all 3D -companies taken together that have gone public with the help of SPAC (a procedure that allows startups to go public by merging with another private company). However, when I look at really large, successful, long-term public projects, which is what we are aiming for, I see that they are on a completely different level in terms of predictability and profitability than we are.” These are serious words, and apparently the head of the company has reason to pronounce them. Most likely, the forecast of the company's capitalization in the region of 4-6 billion dollars with a successful initial offering, which will make it the largest company in the market, because even the result of the veteran and long-term market leader - 3DSystems as of August 2021 is no more than 3.5 billion. dollars.
Unlike the students at Formlabs, Markforged was founded by older guys. However, even here it was not without MIT. MIT alumnus Mark Greg encountered 3D printing while his company was doing a job for the US Navy. Experiments in the field of improving the quality of products led him to the idea of creating a printer that could reinforce the printed model with carbon fiber to make it strong and suitable for use under load.Employees of the company together with the Metal X printer, Mark Greg is seated to the right of the printer.
The company was founded in 2013, and already in 2014 at the Solidworks World exhibition, the startup presented its first product - the Mark One printer, which had two extruders and could reinforce the printed model with nylon, fiberglass and even Kevlar. Later, The Digital Forge, a cloud-based print management platform, was introduced, and already in 2017, MarkForged announced the release of a Metal X desktop metal 3D printer worth $100,000, while competitors' counterparts cost a million. In 2020, the company's turnover amounted to $ 70 million, and the management decided to bring the company to an IPO using SPAC. The company introduced the concept of additive manufacturing 2.0 to potential investors, allowing the production of finished products rather than prototypes, paving the way for 3D printing to the production of goods. The volume of this market is estimated by experts at 13 trillion dollars.
Based on the Wholers Report, in 2020 the company predicted the growth of the additive technologies market at an average rate of 27%, which means that in the next 8 years from the current 18 billion dollars, the market will grow to 118 billion in 2029 from 10 multiple growth of own revenue up to 700 million dollars already in 2025.
On July 15, 2021, MarkForged was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker MKFG. The placement was estimated at 2 billion dollars, but a month later the shares lost a little in price, and the current capitalization is about 1.5 billion dollars. The question remains: is it worth buying shares of a company that plans to be unprofitable for at least another 2 years (the company predicts a turnover of about $100 million this year).
On the one hand, there are enough companies on the market trading at even higher multiples, and on the other hand, 3D printing is not yet such a mature technology that one can be sure of the 100% success of exactly the concept that MarkForged offers. In fact, the company itself considers the emergence of new technologies as one of the risks that could undermine its current technological superiority. In general, investors are now positive about the future of 3D printing. They were impressed by how the technology performed in the first, most difficult months of the pandemic, when production chains were disrupted and many transport arteries stopped working. With the help of 3D printing, it was quickly possible to establish the production of urgently needed valves for ventilation, protective masks, adapters and much more. The concept of distributed production immediately turned from a beautiful idea into a real necessity. So, as always, the coin has two sides, but if you are interested in stocks with great potential, you should at least take a closer look at this company and the market of additive technologies in general.
The last one in my story is DeskTop Metal. Formlabs was created by MIT students, Markforged - MIT graduates, DeskTop Metal was created by experienced entrepreneurs Rick Fulop and Johan Mayerberg, as well as 4 (!) MIT professors. Going to the goal, Rick Fulop founded 6 different companies, also headed an investment fund. Johan Maierberg has been a lead engineer for various companies and became the CTO of DeskTop Metal.Rick Fulop in front of DeskTop Metal Studio System 9 printers0002 The company's goal was to create an affordable desktop 3D printer that prints metal models. The company immediately became a favorite among investors and attracted investment rounds with enviable constancy. Among her donors were BMW, Ford Motor, Stratasys (a pioneer in the creation of 3D printing technology), SaudiAramco investment fund, General Electric and others. The total valuation in the latest round reached $2.4 billion, with a paltry $26 million turnover in 2019. The funds received were used for R&D and attracting the best engineers and developers to the company. In 2017, a three-component metal printing system based on FDM layer-by-layer printing technology was introduced, followed by burning and baking the final model. The system was very "raw": a small amount of materials was available for printing, and the printing itself had a lot of restrictions, the final products looked rough with large dimensional errors. Nevertheless, the developments continued, and the company announced its potential star - the Production System, a high-speed metal printing system, which can hardly be called a desktop one. The company claims that its Single Pass Jetting technology is 100 times faster than any other existing metal 3D printing technology, but deliveries of printers should begin only at the end of this year, so in this case you have to take our word for it.
The company entered the IPO on December 10, 2020 under the same SPAC scheme and in its presentation for potential investors outlined the following parameters: planned turnover in 2025 - 942 million dollars, reaching operating profit in 2023, and also indicated that , which plans to spend a significant portion of the proceeds on acquisitions of other 3D printing companies.
Capitalization on the New York Stock Exchange at the time of its IPO on December 10 was a fantastic $6 billion. During the placement, $580 million was raised and the company was assigned the laconic ticker DM. Already in February 2021, the shares rose even more, and the company's capitalization exceeded $8 billion. DM has said it will be the first company in 3D printing history to have a capitalization of over $10 billion. Having received huge funds at its disposal, already in January 2021, DM announced the first takeover deal: the German manufacturer of professional photopolymer 3D printers EnvisionTEC (founded in 2002 and is one of the oldest on the market) was bought for $ 300 million. For me, this choice was not obvious, it is difficult to find something in common between DM and EnvisionTEC and it will be difficult to achieve a significant synergistic effect from this transaction. EnvisionTEC has continued to operate under its own brand as a 100% subsidiary of DM and plans to release a number of new models for its key customers - dental clinics and jewelry companies. Also during this year, several small companies specializing in the production of materials and software were bought. DM expands its patent base due to this and gathers under its wing the best ideas and people. The most high-profile acquisition was the $575 million purchase announced in August of another public company, the American ExOne. Established in 2005 in Pittsburgh, it specializes in the production of industrial 3D printers for creating injection molds from sand and other materials. It is also noteworthy that she managed to commercialize a patent for this technology, issued by MIT back in 1993 year. In this case, we can say that the product lines of DM and ExOne are closer to each other and they have already presented a joint portfolio based on the products of both companies, in which one product complements the other.
It would be logical to assume that DM stock skyrocketed after such high-profile acquisitions, but in reality the opposite happened. Since its peak in February, the shares have fallen 4 times and are now trading at $8 a share, and the capitalization is slightly over $2 billion. Apparently, the first euphoria of investors gave way to a more sober approach to the current results of the company. Perhaps this was influenced by the dissatisfaction of some ExOne shareholders, who considered the sale price of the company unfair and were preparing a class action lawsuit against management in order to block the deal.
Should I buy DM stock now that it has fallen so much, or wait for further decline? I would say that their current level is very comfortable for entry, but, of course, such investments also have a certain risk. This is despite the fact that the company has reported strong first half results, which DM expects to generate over $100 million in revenue this year.
Summing up, I would like to say that a number of stock analysts consider what is happening in the market of additive technologies to be a "renaissance". The market came into motion after the pandemic, which gave everyone hope that the technology was ripe for serious tasks, and that the situation in the industry of 2013-2014 would not repeat itself. Then the technique was still very "raw", but attracted a lot of attention from the press and potential investors. This drove the stocks of market leaders 3DSystems and Stratasys to unknown heights, and then, when there was disappointment in the results of their work, the fall reached 20 times from peak values. Startups bought in batches, not really understanding what to do with them later. Most of these deals only made it harder for companies to focus on their core business. I would like to hope that history will be a good lesson for the new giants of the industry. There have already been a number of IPO exits by companies from the 3D printing industry through SPAC this year, with several more large listings planned for the end of the year. And, if you are interested in this sector, stay tuned.
Expert in the field of additive technologies and 3D equipment, founder and head of the Tsvetnoy Mir company
growth points and forecast until 2025
production of consumables for 3D printers with the support of the Skolkovo Foundation, the relevance of the additive industry will grow every year as the market is informed about the possibilities of 3D printing technologies.
It is the lack of popularization of technology that prevents its scaling. More time is spent on demonstrative pilot projects than if the participants in the experiment understood the full range of benefits of 3D printing in advance, according to the company. REC estimates that the pandemic-adjusted commercial 3D printing market will not fall below 20% annually over the next three to five years. The global market for additive technologies has been repeatedly estimated at $30 billion by 2025.
REC CEO Dmitry Miller notes that the additive technology market has grown organically in recent years: small and medium-sized manufacturing companies, medicine, automotive and design industries have served as drivers. In 2020, the pandemic has significantly accelerated growth, exposing the problems of classical production. It turned out that 3D printing technologies make it possible to more effectively optimize the costs of creating components or entire products, structures - at least on the basis that in a number of industries, such as construction, the use of 3D printers can reduce the number of specialists involved in production processes, and this is an important factor in an era of widespread social distancing. As a result, global market growth in 2020 alone amounted to about 25%. In turn, analysts from Research and Markets and Wohlers Associates Inc. predict that until 2025 we will see an annual growth of the global market of additive technologies by 18-25%.
It is worth noting that the additive technology market is just beginning to take shape. Dmitry Miller believes that in the coming years we will see a more intensive, widespread introduction of 3D printing technologies not only in industrial production and various sectors of the economy, but also in the everyday life of average citizens. This is due to the emergence of new 3D printers at much more affordable prices, but with no fewer features. Such novelties as, for example, Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0, Creality Ender-3 or Flashforge Creator Pro 2 show a trend towards maximum democratization of technologies. Lowering barriers to entry for novice 3D printer users will have a direct impact on the growth in the value of shares of additive manufacturing companies in all countries.
Back in 2015, the global 3D printing market was barely more than $5 billion, at the beginning of 2020 it was $11 billion, and by 2025 it is expected to grow to over $30 billion. To a large extent, such rapid growth is due to the improvement of the technologies themselves 3D printing and new opportunities. The industrial sector is actively introducing not only rapid prototyping, but also serial additive manufacturing of composite and metal parts. The latter trend can be seen in the example of General Electric Corporation, which bought Concept Laser and Arcam and introduced the equipment of these enterprises into the production of components for aircraft engines and gas turbine generators using selective laser and electron beam alloying of metal powders.
Engineers and designers, on the other hand, have gained access to more advanced, yet more affordable, professional-grade desktop additive systems, such as Ultimaker's third-generation 3D printers and the Russian company's new line of X-platform 3D printers. PICASO.
Jewelers and dentists did not stand aside: until recently, high-precision stereolithographic 3D printers cost thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars, but now equipment with similar resolution and performance can be purchased for hundreds of dollars, which makes 3D printing everything more attractive for the production of master models and templates in jewelry and dental laboratories.
From an investment point of view, it is still a good idea not only to buy shares in industry companies (eg Stratasys, 3D Systems or Materialise), but also to create your own studio. The advantage of the business model is a relatively cheap start, because it is not necessary to create a whole line, you can start with a couple of 3D printers. In addition, it is possible to purchase industrial equipment for functional prototyping and small-scale production and take orders even from souvenir or toy companies. It should be taken into account that the local (regional) demand for specific objects suitable for creation on 3D printers can be unstable and fluctuate greatly over a couple of years.
The notorious coronavirus crisis, including in our country, temporarily stirred up the industry with a series of large orders for the manufacture of adapters for connecting filters to ventilators, protective shields, mask clips, protective boxes and other components of medical equipment and items protective equipment, suddenly found themselves in acute shortage. Not only large companies came to the aid of doctors, but also private studios, and even enthusiasts, as can be seen in the example of the volunteer movement "Makers against COVID-19".
However, many 3D printing studios eventually found themselves unable to fully accept the work done, as in just a matter of months, new strict sales restrictions or additional certificates for such products were introduced in many countries, while orders were already filled and it was almost impossible to adapt them to the new implementation rules.
That's why when investing in additive technologies by creating your own business, you should start in simpler and more predictable directions whenever possible.