Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) and 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) may be the two biggest names in 3-D printing, but their approaches to the business has been completely different. Stratasys has proven to be a much more conservative company in terms of its management style. The company's acquisitions have certainly been much larger in scale than those made by 3D Systems, but at the same time, they have been much more focused to better ensure management can make the most out of their investments.

3D Systems, on the other hand, has taken a "leave no stone unturned" approach to its market opportunity, aggressively pursuing new opportunities and business ventures to claim as much market share as possible. In this context, it's almost as if 3D Systems wants to become the of 3-D printing.

3D Systems' more aggressive approach has proven to be the better investment, considering shares of the stock have risen more than 150% year to date, nearly triple the rise of Stratasys' shares. In the following video, Fool contributor Steve Heller looks at the year ahead and lays out which of these 3-D printing giants will likely be the better investment in 2014.

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Fool contributor Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems,, and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems,, and Stratasys and has the following options: short January 2014 $20 puts on 3D Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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