Airbus Executive: 3-D Printing Has a Long Way to Go

At the Inside 3-D Printing Conference in New York City, Curtis Carson, head of systems integration at Airbus Group (NASDAQOTH: EADSY  ) , addressed an audience about the role that 3-D printing will play in future aircraft manufacturing. By the end of the address, it was clear that aviation-oriented 3-D printing applications are very much in their early days, and it will realistically take many years until the trend truly takes hold. From an investor's perspective, 3-D printing companies with direct part manufacturing capabilities, particularly with metal -- like 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) through its Phenix Systems acquisition -- are in a position to benefit from the aviation industry turning more and more to 3-D printing for direct part manufacturing.

For a manufacturer like Airbus, the incentive is quite high to adopt 3-D printing in a meaningful way because it's an efficient manufacturing process that can lead to cost savings and better performing components compared to conventional manufacturing processes -- a win-win for Airbus and its customers.

Also at the Inside 3-D Printing Conference, 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental highlighted the fact that, despite having increased its manufacturing capacity for its line of metal 3-D printers often used for aviation applications, the company simply can't keep up with demand. Although metal 3-D printing won't have a huge effect on 3D Systems' business in the near term, it's certainly an encouraging sign that interest about metal 3-D printing is increasing.

In the following video, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller and Motley Fool industrials bureau chief Blake Bos have a candid discussion about Airbus and the role 3-D printing plays in its operations. They also talk about how 3D Systems and 3-D printing investors would be well served not to get too excited about this development because it's a multi-year trend in the making.

One must-own stock in 2014
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2014, at 11:29 AM, ScottAtlanta wrote:

    Pairing the perma Bear pessimist Blake with Steve Heller was a good idea. I noticed this has happened several times now. It at least creates the possibility of more balance by tempering the one-sided negativity of B. Bos on 3 D printing as seen in every solo video I've seen him provide on the sector.

    Even here B Bos excitedly suggests the result of 3D printing will be eroding profit margins....Steve has to jump in and point out the main point is greater efficiencies...not a presumed "race to the bottom."

    I disagree on the timeline. Yes, there was over enthusiasm in market psychology and stock price....but will it take "decades" for this transition to occur? Definitely not...that's applying linear growth models to exponential phenomena. If it's less than 1% now....by 2020, 50% or more of plane may be 3D printed. Then by 2022, 100%. That's 8 years from now....it may actually be much sooner as there are no real barriers in the technology...they can print metal for example. However...that's probably irrelevant when the body of the future planes will most likely be a lightweight, extremely strong composite....not metal.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2912606, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/29/2014 1:23:49 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement