While naysayers often dismiss 3-D printing as a fad with no real value, they often overlook one key factor about the rise of 3-D printing: For the first time in history, 3-D printing technology is spreading into the hands of users out the typical industrial setting. As a result, the technological possibilities are advancing at a much faster rate, which could ultimately end up benefiting 3-D printing players 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD ) , Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS ) , voxeljet (NYSE: VJET ) , and ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE ) .
General Electric recently held a public contest to redesign a jet engine bracket for 3-D printing manufacturing with the objective of creating an equally strong bracket but significantly reduce its weight. With nearly 700 design submissions, an engineer with zero aviation experience from Indonesia ended up taking home first place by reducing the bracket's weight by 84%. The power of open collaboration is unparalleled today.
In addition, Victoria's Secret pushed the boundaries of 3-D printing during its annual fashion show by combining 3-D printing and 3-D scanning to make a custom-tailored outfit for supermodel Lindsay Ellingson. This demonstrates the potential of 3-D printing, which, when combined with 3-D scanning, opens the door for custom tailored orthotics, prosthetics, clothing, and other applications that could benefit from a custom fit.
At the end of the day, the naysayers are probably wrong about 3-D printing's future possibilities, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller argues. Check out the video below to get his full thoughts on the issue and why investing in the space with a long-term time horizon is likely a wise decision.
You can get rich from 3-D printing
For the first time since the early days of this country, we're in a position to dominate the global manufacturing landscape thanks to a single, revolutionary technology: 3D printing. Although this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the success of 3-D printing is already a foregone conclusion to many manufacturers around the world. The trick now is to identify the companies -- and thereby the stocks -- that will prevail in the battle for market share. To see the three companies that are currently positioned to do so, simply download our invaluable free report on the topic by clicking here now.