Are Investors 3-D Printing a Bubble?

It seems that every time I write about the sky-high valuations of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) and Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) they just keep on trekking higher (you're welcome!). There is no doubt that the 3-D printing industry will continue to grow and find new customers and applications. According to The Wall Street Journal, analysts estimate that 3D Systems and Stratasys will grow 45% and 39%, respectively, in each of the next three years. However, as more and more investors pile into the companies you have to start asking the question: "Is this a bubble?" Let's go through some valuation experiments below.

The anatomy of a bubble
How does a bubble form? I'm no expert, but I saw this worrisome underperform pitch for 3D Systems from CAPS member LoveMeSomeGreen last week: "People who have never invested a dime in the stock market their entire lives are asking me about 3D Systems and frothing at the mouth to get in at ($60 per share)." That worries me because I've fielded more than one question about 3-D printing companies from friends with little to no investing experience. Gains of several hundred percent make great water cooler talk, but they could be a dangerous trap for investors.

Does the entire 3-D printing industry get a free pass? I don't buy the argument that 3D Systems and Stratasys get a free pass for being the leaders in the industry, either. Big, successful companies can be overvalued without going bankrupt; one doesn't imply the other. Must we remind ourselves of industry leaders around today that tipped the rationality scale in the early 2000's?

Company

Dot-com Bubble Peak

Jan. 23 Closing Price

Cisco

$79.38

$20.62

Corning

$106

$12.23

Microsoft

$27.92

$27.61

Oracle

$35.33

$34.69

Source: Historical data provided by Google Finance

It took Microsoft and Oracle over 10 years to fight back to their valuations from the turn of the century. While there are many differences the underlying message remains the same: the dot-com bubble grew to historic heights as investors overlooked valuation metrics and put their faith in the awesome potential future of the Internet. Sound familiar?

Will acquisitions payoff or make you pay?
3D Systems made 16 acquisitions in 2011, while Stratasys and Objet merged last year to form the current $3.7 billion company. Industry consolidation happens all of the time and with several large companies racing to acquire assets there are big premiums to pay. This is obviously the case in 3-D printing, but should we be so quick to dismiss the numbers? Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the types of assets, and growth of each, for the two companies:

 

3D Systems

Stratasys

Intangible Assets (% of total)*

$317.37 million (48.1%)

$49.54 million (20.2%)

Tangible Assets (% of total)

$343.13 million (51.9%)

$195.36 million (79.8%)

3-year Intangible Asset Growth

506%

547%

3-year Tangible Asset Growth

250%

34.3%

Source: 3Q12 data provided by 3D Systems, Stratasys. * Intangible assets include intangibles + goodwill.

Not only are investors paying a hefty premium to share in the growth of 3D Systems, but they are also paying a huge premium on the company's useful assets. For sake of experiment, let's say the company wanted to write down goodwill to a more acceptable 20% of total assets (my threshold). The non-cash charges would total nearly $185 million and total assets would weigh in at just $475 million.

Both companies have witnessed intangible asset growth of over 500% over the last three years, but Stratasys has still managed to keep its intangible asset ratio (IAR) at a reasonable 20.2%. We will see how that changes when numbers for the Objet merger start rolling in, but I'm not expecting any shockers. Objet wasn't a hopeful start-up. In fact, it was nearly the same size ($1.4 billion) as Stratasys ($1.63 billion) at the time the merger was announced.

Of course, I've never heard any investor say they are buying the companies above for asset growth. It is also important to note that goodwill proves useful in valuing incalculable metrics like brand recognition and human capital. Nonetheless, a high IAR could mean management is paying too much to close deals meant to grow the company.

Although writing down goodwill is a seemingly painless, non-cash, one-time charge that doesn't affect cash flow, it also means management threw money away at some point in the past. And it does have a direct effect on shareholders' equity. Ask Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) investors how they feel about their company blowing $8.8 billion of an $11 billion deal for Autonomy – just another in a long line of writedowns for the company. I'll bet 3D Systems wouldn't mind an additional $185 million in cash on the balance sheet (double 3Q12 levels).

Bitter or sweet?
Intangible assets aside, the recent run-ups for the two 3-D printing giants are causing growth valuations to turn sour for some investors. As I mentioned above, analysts have penciled in some amazing growth rates for the next three years. But with P/E ratios in the triple digits for both companies, investors should certainly question if their money is better placed elsewhere.

Again for the sake of experiment, let's consider what P/E ratios the companies would sport in 2016 if targeted growth rates are achieved and shares prices are frozen. Growing at 45% per year 3D Systems would have a P/E ratio of 18.22, while Stratasys would have a P/E of 23.2 assuming annual growth of 39%. Both are respectable, but the experiment suggests there may be little to no return ahead for investors at current prices. 

Consider that industrial powerhouses like Precision Castparts, which produces metal castings for engines and turbines, trades with a P/E of 22. Allegheny Technologies produces metal alloys and replacement parts for specialty aircraft engines and trades with a P/E of 21. Furthermore, both companies have paid dividends for at least 10 straight years. Just saying.

My analysis is not airtight and both companies could continue to blow by analyst expectations. I just feel the current madness will have to stop eventually. Perhaps investors are better off looking at secondary markets for 3-D companies, where valuations are much more reasonable. Do you disagree with me? Give me an earful in the comments section below.

Better yet, you'll want to read our report "3 Stocks to Own for the New Industrial Revolution." Despite my concerns on valuation, there is no denying they're the biggest industry disruptors we've seen since the personal computer. You can read more about them in our free analyst report here.


Read/Post Comments (44) | Recommend This Article (43)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2013, at 5:48 PM, FooLawson wrote:

    I remember last year when I saw Apple trading at $300, I was thinking it will increase by around 50% and I thought I could invest elsewhere for a better percentage. less than a year later it jumped to over $700 becoming the largest company in the world. now 4 months later they have been cut by 33%. I had no idea of the rally poising the giant.

    This is a new innovative emerging market, and I have put my money where my mouth is, granted it was months ago, but I still think there is room.

    Have an idea of your entry and exit plans.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2013, at 7:43 PM, TheTrendSetter wrote:

    Who knows where these things will go, quite honestly I'm very amazed (and quite happy!) they have run up so far. I would rather take the long term perspective though of where they will be in 2023. They will rally up and down for years but I think ultimately it will pay to hold on and take advantage of any dips.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2013, at 9:17 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @TheTrendSetter

    It certainly pays to be an early investor!

    --Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2013, at 9:38 PM, piinob wrote:

    I bought DDD at 17.30. I am planning to sell soon and wait for the pullback. I only bought 100 shares and if/when I get back into it I expect to get a larger position. I think it still has room to run.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2013, at 12:54 AM, ROing wrote:

    If you try to time the market, you might miss out. People tried to time apple and lost. I don't believe in apple anymore, that's why I would sell their stocks now. Invest in long term because you believe in its potential growth.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2013, at 5:17 AM, totalFoolishness wrote:

    I got into both ssys and DDD last year. Sold off positions this week except for my original investment amount. I will say though that the one thing different between Cisco bubbling, pcp's normal valuation of 22 and DDD and ssys is that Cisco and pcp's are big companies. DDD in 10 years could be that big and sure the p/e will fall but no one who bought now will care because they could from this point see 1000% returns if it even begins to approach pcp's size.

    I'm hoping for a fear induced drop to buy more shares of both of these, but this may in hindsight be a gamble that I shouldn't of taken if we don't see one of these falls. I feel fairly confident within the next month there will be a reset as valuation fears persist but I'm reminded of what ken fisher says that bull markets persist over mountains of fear.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2013, at 2:38 PM, 48ozhalfgallons wrote:

    Total; plinob; I see this as you do. Happy investing!

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 2:42 AM, RoburInvesments wrote:

    Dear Author,

    As a value investor I am in total agreement with your article.

    Although this area of 3D printing is prime for long term growth, this being a new technology there is no historical data to go on then we have to trade on the numbers.

    A P/E ratio of 100 (or whatever it is now), makes the stock extremely high risk to bad news in both a micro and a micro (let's not forget the looming debt ceiling problem) environment.

    Never invest in sentiments i.e. everyone is investing in it, it must be a winner. Always do your due diligence, and work with the numbers. No one can tell what this stock will do i the next 12 months

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 6:10 AM, knownothin wrote:

    I agree with all of you, but DDD is small potatoes compared to the "Madness of Crowds" mentality of people who invest in companies such as LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD),Netflix, Inc. (NFLX),Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), and American Tower Corporation (AMT) all of which sport astronomically high P.E.'s as well........funny nobody's bad mouthing them. Hmm...

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 6:57 AM, amvet wrote:

    Clearly, 3 D printing is a game changer. Which stocks will be best is of course not known.

    The market for 3 D printers in the home is still not solid, but the use of 3 D printers in industry to make complicated parts in material ranging from plastic to cobalt-steel is known and valued.

    I own several of the stocks.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 8:17 AM, Jujube343 wrote:

    Yea it is funny how no one is bad mouthing the other companies. It is dumb articles like this that make people believe in self fulfilling prophecy charts like this and all the morons sell off.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 11:59 AM, dion2727 wrote:

    Bubbles are created by cynical analysts and hedge fund bears who step in and force out investors by creating panic environments.If you believe in the values and the prospective use of 3D

    dont be panicked into a sell rebuy mode.Force the gamblers to pay and not you.They are merely trying very hard to drive you out,make a quick profit,buy back your shares,and go long.Wait for yhe reports from DDD and SSYS and other positive on 3d in general.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 12:24 PM, investinfields wrote:

    Using microsoft and oracle at the dotcom bubble is totally a wrong comparison for DDD and the like. In 2000, the former 2 companies were well established, completely matured companies in a matured industry (computing), whereas DDD is in a newly emerging sector of manufacturing. What a mistake.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 12:39 PM, buffalonate wrote:

    I doubled my money and got out. They are definitely in bubble valuation. I have leared through experience that investing in anything with a p/e above 40 inevitably leads to a painful experience in the near future. When they crash back down to a reasonable valuation I will buy back into them.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 1:28 PM, LarryMDR wrote:

    3D printing is already bigger than most people imagine. It already being used in architecture, automotive, dental, education, consumer electronics, consumer goods, defense, NASA, hearing aids, toys, service bureaus, sporting goods, medical equipment, medical, entertainment , jewelry, industrial machinery and growing in so many other industries it's amazing.

    For example, I just saw several videos showing 3D printing being used in the food service (printing with batter, frosting, think wedding cakes), women's high fashion clothing on the Paris runway (think dresses, purses, pocketbooks, wallets, belts) and, really amazingly, new home and new building construction (think printing with cement)!

    The projected from rate of DDD & SSYS are largely based on 'what is known' and the rate of adoption based on experience with other technologies. In the instance of 3D printing (additive manufacturing), it seems to me we're just scratching the surface in terms of what's possible, the rate of growth and the long term potential

    P/Es look backward while 3D printing is accelerating forward.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 1:41 PM, dion2727 wrote:

    You may not br able to and get whipsawed into losses. To answer a question raised ihave some 3D opportunities i.e.ONVO,PRLB,ADSK,PRCP,

    and the coming IPO'S.

    Suggest you look at the natural gas arena including CLNE,MRC,WPRT,PWR,and GE.as an investment in the future.

    In the SaaS arena i recommend SWI,JIVE,and BV.

    SWI is the future IBM.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 11:52 AM, autoinsider wrote:

    They are both classic bubble stocks, great for trading but when the bubble bursts, it'll hurt real bad.

    BTDT.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 2:13 PM, Chuckvor wrote:

    This appears to be a herd mentality movement. If you believed in the future of 3D printing yesterday, what's changed? Some guy wrote his opinion. If you're that skittish, probably shouldn't be in anyway. I'm staying in. It's a long term play.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 4:59 PM, buffalonate wrote:

    What changed is someone pointed out how stupid it is to own a stock with a p/e ratio over 100.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 5:04 PM, PARZIVAL2000 wrote:

    "Fools" (Motley that is) rush in where fools (small "f") never dare to tread." 3-D printing is not exactly in its infancy. Microsoft was not in its infancy when it first went public. Don't you wish you had those original 100 shares of Microsoft? You'd be a millionaire today. Similarly (if you want to continue the FOOL comparison) getting into 3D printing in companies like 3D Systems (DDD) AND Stratasystems (SSYS) now and sitting it out is a no-brainer. Today's drop in both stocks is a buying opportunity.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 8:08 PM, RockyTopBob wrote:

    MSFT hit a split adjusted bubble peak of over $58 in late 1999. I don't trust posts from somebody that can't even look up stock prices.

    Posters like this are similar to those who post short attacks on Seeking Alpha. Why would a Fool try to disparage stocks widely held and recommended by TMF?

    Bob

    who made over one million dollars on MSFT

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 8:38 PM, printing724 wrote:

    I bought into DDD early last year based on my belief in the long term growth prospects of 3d printing. As an engineer, I am familiar with the technical aspects and limitations. I do believe in the long term growth prospects of the early leaders.

    A major winner will be the company that does the best job of bridging the gap between a machinable 3d image and 2d images captured by non-professionals. CMM systems and 3d scanning equipment will not make it into consumer's hands anytime soon. But 3D's purchases of GeoMagic and Coweb tells me that they are paying attention to this.

    So I will Foolishly keep my position.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 11:16 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @RockyTopBob

    The numbers I presented are split adjusted as well. In fact, on a split-adjusted basis MSFT has never topped $40 per share.

    --Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2013, at 11:28 PM, ironrod wrote:

    just reading your newsletters and advertisement over th epast several days, you have been recommending ddd for your clients. now you tell your clients that you recommended an over valued company. aso, you tout ddd among you signinal performers. come on mother!

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 6:31 AM, Panoplos wrote:

    TMF has been hyping this stock like mad since introducing it to their readers. I am now beginning to see how you achieve at least some of your results. The fact is, betting on the smaller 3D printing manufacturers is highly risky, as 1) it is not a proven market, 2) first movers almost always lose out to later participants and 3) they are hyped to ridiculous multiples.

    For 1, I do not see 3D printing taking off any time soon for the average consumer, so their bloated sales projections will not materialize soon enough to justify the capital lock-up. Current units only produce monochrome trinkets, require CAD skills if you wish to design anything, and are not going to pay off for Mrs. Robinson by virtue of the ability to print broken parts--which carries with it the complication of getting ALL manufacturers on board to releasing their secret sauce! The math simply does not add up.

    With regard to 2, these smaller players do not have the brand recognition or distribution prowess of larger manufacturers. Their patents also lack moat-like protection, so any competitor like Samsung could throw a couple hundred million at the market, undercut them in pricing and take the smaller players' pie with very little effort.

    3 is established by 1 & 2.

    It is quite simple what is going on here. TMF has taken a small pet project and marketed the hell out of it for these companies--and your readership. Unfortunately, your market reach is niche and mostly not even the target demographic of who would deploy these devices. Effective? Yes! Sustainable? Well, I leave that up to the reader to decide...

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 7:54 AM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @ironrod

    I just ran a few simple experiments to illustrate one way to value these companies. Nothing novel. No spectacular claims. There are various ways to look at value for an emerging industry.

    --Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 10:06 AM, RockyTopBob wrote:

    Maxwell,

    I don't care if you use Google Finance, Yahoo Finance or your broker. Look at at stock chart for MSFT and tell me where it was in Dec 1999.

    Please post your answer.

    Bob

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 11:56 AM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @RockyTopBob,

    Staring at it, but its not moving. Shows that MSFT was trading just below $30 in December 1999 on a split adjusted basis. At the time, the stock was undoubtedly at $58 per share. But the 2:1 split in February 2003 ($29 x 2 = $58) makes it equivalent to a $29 share price/valuation today.

    It makes no sense for me to use numbers that are frozen in time.

    --Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 3:40 PM, RockyTopBob wrote:

    Maxwell,

    All the quote charts reflect the effect of all splits all the way back. MSFT was selling way over $58 in Dec 1999. I have hundreds of trades to prove it.

    Take a look at NKE which just split. Current quote $50 but it was selling for over $100. Your chart says MSFT was at $27.92 so even using your own convoluted logic of $29, means your chart is wrong.

    The same split adjusted charts for GLW show a max of $109 which is only close to the $106 you state. So how can you read the charts different for MSFT than you do GLW?

    Bob

    who hates people who refuse to admit when they are wrong

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 11:08 AM, DrDick1954 wrote:

    Maxxwell,

    Bob is right. Current chart shows price in terms of post split dollars. In the time period in question, MSFT was trading at 2x the currently displayed price (i.e. over $110). Today's 2 shares where yesterday's 1 share.

    Maybe a little more coffee would help...

    DD

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 11:14 AM, DrDick1954 wrote:
  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 1:42 PM, RockyTopBob wrote:

    Thanks for taking the time to post the chart DD. Now we will see what kind of character Maxwell has.

    He can admit he was wrong and say he's sorry. Or he can ignore the whole thing.

    He is a newbie who owns three stocks. He is not an analyst for TMF. I’ve been investing over 40 years and own over 200 stocks. I respect most TMFs for their upfront ability to say when they are right or wrong. I’d hate to see TMF drug down to the level of Seeking Alpha where anybody can post anything.

    Bob

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 3:52 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @DrDick1954 and Bob,

    I am saying exactly what I have said before: MSFT was trading at a similar value during its Dot Com Bubble Peak as it is today. I didn't include dividends, which was not mentioned in the article. Nonetheless, it doesn't make sense for me to include share prices that have since been split when valuation remains the same.

    On a valuation basis, which is what the article is about, MSFT was trading at the equivalent of $27.92 per share today. There is no debate.

    I don't see why you are taking such offense to a simple answer. I'll take the high road though Bob, and congratulate you on your "over $1 million" made with MSFT.

    Fool on!

    --Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2013, at 11:58 AM, Nick622 wrote:

    Dr. Dick, Bob, Maxxwell,

    I assume I'm missing something. If I look at Yahoo's historical prices (the ones Dr. Dick posted), MSFT was in the 100s in 1999, and if I look at Yahoo's adjusted prices (i.e. the ones you see in the standard chart) MSFT was in the 50s.

    But Google's chart says MSFT was in the high 20s in 1999, implying a non-split-adjusted historical stock price in the high 50s.

    What gives? According to Yahoo's chart, MSFT is down 50% since the bubble, but according to Google's chart they are about at the same value as they were then. Is one of these sites treating dividends differently?

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2013, at 12:57 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @Nick622

    When someone says "split-adjusted" it corresponds to the arrow of time pointing in one direction: forward. At least that's what I mean.

    Google's charts don't account for dividends, just the split. Pure and simple. A stock that traded at $1,000 in the past that has experienced the equivalent of a 200:1 split will show-up as a $5 watermark on the historical charts.

    The Yahoo! link posted shows a table that throws in dividends (from which benchmark idk) to all numbers it appears, and shows the historical price as it stood before the split. Aka frozen in time. Aka the $1,000 per share in the example above.

    It is important to note that a split does not affect valuation, which is the point of my table above. This is because the share price and number of shares still equate to the same market cap.

    Hope that helps. As always, Google any investment terms with followed by the word "Investopedia" to clear up an confusion in the future.

    Fool on!

    --Maxxwell

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2013, at 1:11 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    Well, this is all a very fine argument about historical prices that don't have much to do with my current thinking, except for the fact that apparently there is bad "data" ( I use the term loosely) hanging out on charts and other places. Which I find quite revealing. Did I sort that out accurately Bob?

    With respect to DDD. Its very hard for me to see how someone who invests now at 80 or 100 or 70 P/E emerges without scars. Its easy to see how someone who invested earlier or invests down the road (if it ever gets there) at P/E of 10 or 20 or even 40 emerges with a smile. BUT, I certainly expect some out there would rather cry over the scars than the missed "opportunity" when the rocket ship reaches escape velocity. Personally I don't mind a good cry over blown opportunity, Ive missed lots of them, including MSFT so I am used to it (sigh)

    HOWEVER, for every MSFT that is easy to ID in hindsight, there are 2 or 5 or 10 early movers who don't do nearly as well but looked stunning in real time. I keep the fading 1982 receipt for my NORTHSTAR PC with WORDSTAR and Daisywheel printer prominently displayed on my office wall to remind me of that ugly fact.

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2013, at 1:50 PM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @Skepikl

    "HOWEVER, for every MSFT that is easy to ID in hindsight, there are 2 or 5 or 10 early movers who don't do nearly as well but looked stunning in real time. I keep the fading 1982 receipt for my NORTHSTAR PC with WORDSTAR and Daisywheel printer prominently displayed on my office wall to remind me of that ugly fact."

    Excellent practice in humility!

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2013, at 3:38 PM, Siro777 wrote:

    A lot of people appear to be giving the author a hard time but he has a valid point. There will always be fools (no pun intended) who jump into a stock because the herd says it's the place to be. When I was a new investor I did it and I bet most people have as well.

    I think he does a good job of trying to remind folks that there is much more to investing than "hope" and guesses. To me a PE nearing 100 is a warning sign that the masses are driving the price and you're no longer investing, your gambling.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2013, at 4:15 AM, SkyRgr wrote:

    Agree with your perspective revenues would have to pop to get me excited at these prices. I think long term both could be a wiener; but, I need to do my homework to determine they’re capabilities and possibilities. What I do know from a YouTube video is that 90+ minutes to make a iPhone cover is not going to cut it long term. I cannot imagine how long it takes to make more complex products like model buildings or concept car.

    I've bought stocks on hype and endless possibilities before i.e., Terrestar (TSTRQ) and we all know how well that story ends. BLUF: When these printers can produce widgets that are precision engineered parts or print simple designed widgets quickly I think they will struggle to be relevant long term. Short term DDD/StrataSys may have a run like an Amazon; but, my bet is that they will fare as well as a Terrestar? I'm definitely a watch and wait from the sidelines.

    p.s. I'm long on PCP and ATI

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2013, at 6:55 AM, Bujutsu wrote:

    Shiro777 wrote: "A lot of people appear to be giving the author a hard time but he has a valid point. There will always be fools (no pun intended) who jump into a stock because the herd says it's the place to be."

    Not herd mentality and those people wouldn't be "fools" but instead "Fools!"

    David Gardner has DDD as an active recommendation in Stock Advisor and he also has Stratasys as an active recommendation in Rule Breakers.

    These two stocks have been hyped month after month and in one free report after another by The Motley Fool themselves without respect to sky-high PE numbers!

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2013, at 11:12 AM, JA1977 wrote:

    There are limitless potentials with 3D printing. I was watching a documentary yesterday which speculates that 3D could one day be used to print an entire house in about a day (using a very large scale printer). It makes since that if the technology actual does reach a point such as this...it will save manpower, energy consumed, waste left over...and be much more precise. I have been immensely stoked since reading about this "future" technology over 10 years ago (Business Week...Top Tech's for the next 50 years). It may not be SSYS or DDD...but, the technology is a revolutionary one.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2013, at 12:12 PM, TEliotWhite wrote:

    If markets were really rational, the original author's caveats may be valid. However, the "x" factor makes DDD and SSYS really intriguing. If markets were rational, Apple would be higher and DDD would be lower! I'm invested in both and was happy to see DDD split announcement. I plan to Fool on for a while longer on this and look for other upcoming companies in this space.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2013, at 9:12 AM, JA1977 wrote:

    XONE is new 3-D Print company to hit the public market. They look to have some unique machinery they offer. I started a position yesterday.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2013, at 9:17 AM, TMFBlacknGold wrote:

    @JA1977

    And the company is based in Pittsburgh!

    --Maxxwell

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