3D Systems Corporation (DDD), Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS), ExOne Co (XONE): Should You Invest in 3D Printing Companies?

There are few industries that have grown like the 3D printing industry.  The companies operating in this space have delivered stellar returns to investors, and that trend shouldn’t change any time soon. At the moment, there are two major players in the 3D printing arena: 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) – both of which continue to outperform.

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD)

There are also some smaller players in the market that are making big waves like ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE). The beauty of the 3D printing industry is that despite massive growth in the business its two biggest players have yet to directly compete. 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) are currently operating in relatively separate segments and do not compete directly with each other.

For those of you who are new to 3D printing technology, it really is quite fabulous.  A machine takes a picture of whatever you want to make and makes the item layer by layer with whatever material you choose.  You’ve probably heard the story of the baby that was saved by the doctor who used a 3D printer to make a stent.  It is due to stories like this that many feel this technology is the future.

Growth strategy of 3D

The growth strategy of 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) centers around three key aspects: to increase 3D printer penetration, expand global projects, and strengthen its consumer presence. The company plans on replacing traditional technological methods with more modern ones by the end of this year.

Over the past 2 years, the company has gradually increased its capital expenditure as it tries to expand.  Earlier, the company relied on an aggressive acquisitions strategy to expand its operations. However, it now has decided to use a mix of acquisitions and capital expenditures to grow the size of the business.

As a result, the company should be able to maintain a healthy organic growth number over the next three-five years. An important element of the growth strategy is the launch of new products; these products will significantly strengthen the product portfolio.

How Stratasys Plans to Grow

While 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) is focusing on the consumer market, Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) is focusing on business customers. The company drives a major portion of its revenues from the sales of 3D printers to a number of businesses. The industry is rapidly adopting 3D printing technology; as a result, the market for Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) is growing rapidly.

At the moment, one of the fastest growing pieces of the 3D printing sector is the medical device segment. The use of 3D printing is growing rapidly and a lot of labs and device manufacturers are using 3D printers due to higher levels of precision and efficiency.

Last year, the company merged with ObjectLtd, another 3D printer manufacturer. The merger will start to benefit the company by the end of the year.  Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) will get substantial cost synergies and accelerated revenue growth.