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

Why do everyday people want to buy a 3-D printer in the first place?

Jun 12, 2014 at 7:01PM

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.

Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. The Motley Fool 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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

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.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

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. It's also featured on several dozen 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 ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers