How 3D Systems Corporation Dominated Stratasys, Ltd. at CES 2014

The Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show is arguably the most overwhelming technology spectacle of the whole year. Companies from all walks of life show off their latest and greatest products for the world to salivate over. Trying to keep up with the sheer magnitude of announcements will make your head spin.

This year was particularly a big one for 3-D printing, which had its biggest showing yet, with 28 exhibitors in all. While there were certainly some interesting start-ups showcasing their newest products, the real spectacle was how 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) dominated Stratasys' (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) MakerBot in the consumer and "prosumer" 3-D printing space, with an arsenal of new and affordable compelling offerings.

In total, 3D Systems announced more than a dozen new products and partnerships, allowing it to really beat out MakerBot in terms of price, functionality, and professional features. In the following presentation, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller explains exactly how it all went down.

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  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 9:13 AM, justaguy wrote:

    Is this a place for well-thought out analysis or simply putting press releases into a presentation and calling it analysis?

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 1:35 PM, AmericanExpat wrote:

    I agree with justaguy. I see Stratasys working on the 3-D life-cycle and investing in metal AM, and DDD working on consumer products. I don't think consumer products have anything other than a bottle-rocket life at this time. 3-D of your child's head? Wait, you have to buy a 3-D scanner. Whoopee. Maybe I'm missing something, or a lot, but 3-D home applications are so limited.

    Any fool want to tell me where to invest my money in the companies that are suppliers of specialty material to the 3-D leaders? I'm old enough to remember Polaroid giving away cameras and charging a fortune for film. 3-D consumer products will be cheap, but the "toner cartridges" will cost a mint.

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 1:50 PM, TMFTopDown wrote:

    AmericanExpat --

    The majority of revenues (~90%) for both of these companies still comes from the industrial segment. Still, mainstreaming consumer adoption of 3-D printing is important because it creates awareness and invites more possibilities for the technology's applications. The more 3-D printing users there are, the greater potential for the technology. Five years from now, the consumer printer options are going to be far more advanced than what's available today, and should help expand the limited use cases you speak of. However, I'm still in the camp where the service center is how consumers may primarily end up interacting with 3-D printing. In this model, consumers can have 3-D printed designs made on $100k+ printers and shipped to their doorstep.

    As far as materials go, most companies tend to develop materials in house and own their supply chain, which often commands a high profit margin than the sale of 3-D printers. Over time, profitability should rise as installed bases grow and material demand increases.

    Also, 3D Systems has a good position in the metal printing space with its Phenix Systems acquisition.

    Thanks for commenting,

    Steve Heller

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