XYZprinting's Answer to a Million-Dollar 3-D Printing Question

As 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) and Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) battle it out in the consumer-oriented 3-D printing segment, the million-dollar question still remains: Why do everyday people want to buy a 3-D printer in the first place?

With only a few hundred thousand consumer 3-D printers installed worldwide, the answer to this question has been plaguing 3D Systems and Stratasys. 3D Systems' $999 upcoming Cube 3 printer is expected to ship later this month with upgrades that emphasize ease of use. However, it remains to be seen whether a $999 device that prints plastics objects will strike a chord with consumers, simply because it's easier to use. More than likely, price will also play a determining factor with consumer adoption rates.

Cube 3 3-D printer. Source: 3D Systems.

Taiwan-based XYZprinting, backed by manufacturing giant New Kinpo Group, hopes it has the formula to crack the consumer code by offering compelling products in terms of user experience and features for a more affordable price than competitors. Its upcoming $849 da Vinci 2.1 aims to take on 3D Systems and Stratasys consumer 3-D printers for a price that would likely make investors grow more concerned about profit margins. Compared to 3D Systems' Cube 3, the da Vinci 2.1 features a slightly larger build volume and a dual extrusion print head, and the print materials cost significantly less.

Source: XYZprinting.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks XYZprinting senior marketing manager Gary Shu how XYZ will drive consumer 3-D printing adoption rates in the future. Going forward, investors should expect that the consumer 3-D printing segment will continue garner a lot of attention, but isn't likely to drive meaningful business results for 3D Systems or Stratasys unless the consumer use cases and value proposition becomes more clearly defined. In the first quarter, less than 7% of 3D Systems' and 14% of Stratasys' revenue came from consumer 3-D printing.

A transcript follows the video.

One must-own stock
Give us five minutes, and we'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks one stock with outstanding potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on one of the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year, his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252%, and 1,303% over the subsequent years! Believe me, you don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

Steve Heller: Let's talk about bringing 3-D printing into people's lives. How do you plan on doing that? Right now, the adoption rates are pretty low. There's only maybe 100,000 or so 3-D printers in the consumer space, installed worldwide. It's a very small market, compared to the amount of households there are.

Gary Shu: That's right.

Heller: How do you plan on growing that?

Shu: By doing that, I think we have to somehow try to answer the million-dollar question, "What do I need a 3-D printer for?" The difficulty of answering that -- if we could answer that, we would already sell a million units now.

But our mentality or methodology for answering that is, as I mentioned, two things. One, to build the product right; into the right spec, right accessibility, and approachability. Another thing is to try to make the price right.

Once I believe that the product is right, the price is right, there will be more users willing to adopt the products, or willing to give a try to our products. Then we can learn back from the user about how they use the 3-D printers. We can have a better penetration into the users, then we can learn from the users about how they use it.

Eventually, through our communication channels, then we can replicate that business model and applications, then we can make an application into the user's level.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

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: 2984758, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/30/2015 6:36:01 PM

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...

Steve Heller

Covering 3-D printing at the intersection of business, investing, and what it means for the future of manufacturing. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with the ever-changing 3-D printing landscape by clicking the button below.

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:01 PM
DDD $13.48 Up +0.58 +4.50%
3D Systems CAPS Rating: ****
SSYS $30.02 Up +0.81 +2.77%
Stratasys CAPS Rating: ****