3-D Printing Expert: Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing Will Coexist

The scale of which 3-D printing will disrupt manufacturing may have been blown out of proportion.

Apr 15, 2014 at 11:00AM

In April, 2012, The Economist likened 3-D printing to being a third industrial revolution, offering the potential to revolutionize how the world makes just about everything. The article did a great job of captivating the imaginations of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) and other 3-D printing investors about what's possible with a disruptive technology like 3-D printing, but it failed to set expectations properly in terms of timing. Realistically, 3-D printing technology and expertise still need to advance considerably -- and even then, it's not guaranteed to disrupt manufacturing on a grand scale.

Rich Stump of FATHOM, a highly experienced Stratasys reseller and 3-D printing service center, believes that 3-D printing may not necessarily disrupt the status quo of manufacturing in the way that many investors believe is possible, but instead will act as a complementary technology to more traditional manufacturing methods. Together, 3-D printing and traditional subtractive manufacturing methods, such as CNC machining, offer a powerful combination that will likely drive innovation in the future. For Stratasys investors, it's important to recognize that the 3-D printing revolution isn't going to happen overnight and to set your expectations accordingly.

In the following video, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller sits down with Stump to discuss 3-D printing as a disruptive technology, how it relates to the big picture of manufacturing, and whether Stratasys and others will get involved in the traditional manufacturing space. Going forward, Stratasys investors should watch how its technology portfolio advances to see how it could complement other manufacturing processes.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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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