3-D Printing for Consumers: Nothing but Smoke?

Thanks to Stratasys and 3D Systems, this longtime industry expert has changed his opinion about consumer adoption of 3-D printing.

Mar 19, 2014 at 7:00PM

James Woodcock has been following the 3-D printing industry for decades. Until recently, the group editor for the highly respected TCT Magazine + Personalize was skeptical about consumer adoption of this technology.

But 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys' (NASDAQ:SSYS) subsidiary MakerBot are changing his mind. Both revealed new and compelling consumer-oriented products at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Our roving reporter Rex Moore was able to chat with Woodcock at the show. In this video, they discuss Woodcock's change of heart, as well as TCT's "Don't Believe the Hype" conference at CES.

A full transcript follows the video.

This is bigger than 3-D printing
Let's face it: Every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Rex Moore: Welcome to the 2014 International CES. Behind us here is the huge 3-D printing Tech Zone, actually sponsored by TCT Magazine + Personalize. This is James Woodcock, with TCT.

James Woodcock: Hello.

Moore: How are you doing? One of the experts in the industry -- been following it for many, many years. James let's talk, first of all -- big area here -- what have you seen that catches your eye for this year?

Woodcock: This is the second year we came. We came last year as a two-man team, 36 hours, and it was a very fly-by-night affair. This year, the biggest outstanding for me is the fact that everything is together in one zone. There's such a buzz about it.

In terms of the individual announcements, yesterday we had MakerBot and 3D Systems, who came out with a host of consumer/prosumer oriented announcements, which are making 3-D printing more accessible. For a long time, I've thought that 3-D printing for the consumer has been smoke. It's been nebulous. Now I can really see that, with these announcements, it is something that consumers will adopt and will get into.

Moore: That's interesting because you're also part of a series here, a conference on "Don't Believe the Hype," 3-D Printing. Why is it called that?

Woodcock: It might sound strange, from an industry magazine that is focused on 3-D printing, to say "Don't believe the hype," but the idea behind it was not to dispel 3-D printing. 3-D printing is a set of fabulous technologies that are doing incredible things every day.

The hype muddies the waters. It makes it less clear what the abilities are. We'd like to cut through that and show people exactly how consumers, designers, right up to aerospace companies and the likes of Intel, are deploying these technologies today -- because you don't need to hype that. That's real, it's happening today, and it's fabulous as it is.

Rex Moore has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of 3D Systems and Stratasys. 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.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers