Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



3D Systems' New 3-D Printer Ups the Ante

Yesterday, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) introduced the ProJet 4500, the world's first 3-D printer capable of printing multicolor plastic parts pixel by pixel -- in nearly 1 million colors. Printed objects from the 4500 won't require any post-processing, and the printer automatically recycles its own waste. The future of 3-D printing just got a little better.

Source: 3D Systems

Weighing in at 600 pounds, chances are high the 4500 isn't going to be affordable enough for individual use. However, it could be the perfect addition for the right industrial-type customer looking to save big on costs. No post-processing means the time and money spent on getting an object to final form could be spent elsewhere. A 3-D printing services company like Shapeways is the type of customer that could benefit from the efficiency gains built into the 4500.

Full speed ahead!
Given the nature of additive manufacturing, one of the biggest drawbacks about the process is that it's slow as molasses compared to conventional manufacturing methods. The ProJet 4500 is no different -- it can vertically print at the blistering speed of eight millimeters per hour, which represents an improvement of speed that is two to five times faster than competing printers. While this is certainly a big improvement, the real-world speed of 3-D printing still can't compete with large-scale conventional manufacturing processes.

Dreaming bigger
3D Systems continues to establish itself as a leading innovator in the 3-D printing space. The ProJet 4500 is yet another example of how the company remains many steps ahead of the competition, and also gives investors a better sense about the future potential of 3-D printing.

Ultimately, 3D Systems hopes to create a "factory from the future," which incorporates 3-D printing technology with other rapid manufacturing processes in order to build fully customizable smartphones and components. Of course, we're many years away from this reality, but at the end of the day, 3D Systems continues to demonstrate that it's a driving force of rapid change in the 3-D printing space.

This revolution can make you rich
The Economist compares this disruptive invention to the steam engine and the printing press. Business Insider says it's "the next trillion dollar industry." And everyone from BMW, to Nike, to the U.S. Air Force is already using it every day. Watch The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation today to discover the garage gadget that's putting an end to the Made In China era... and learn the investing strategy we've used to double our money on these 3 stocks. Click here to watch now!

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (10)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2749942, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 1:45:13 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,229.84 135.01 0.75%
S&P 500 2,160.30 14.20 0.66%
NASD 5,299.58 42.09 0.80%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/27/2016 1:29 PM
DDD $17.13 Up +0.27 +1.61%
3D Systems CAPS Rating: ****