As much as 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) strive for ease of use with their 3-D printers, operating them is far from an exact science for industrial customers. In manufacturing settings, 3-D printing engineers have to consider a host of real-world challenges that are often only realized after a 3-D printer is purchased from 3D Systems or Stratasys. As far as 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should be concerned, a general lack of technical 3-D printing expertise across the manufacturing industry could inhibit adoption rates over the long term.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Kevin Ayers, industry manager at SME, to explain some of the technical aspects 3-D printing engineers have to consider. Going forward, 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should be aware that the technical challenges associated with operating an industrial 3-D printer isn't likely going to get orders of magnitude easier in the immediate future. Still, 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should continue to monitor the industrial 3-D printing landscape because of its outsized contribution to revenues today, and it's poised to represent a greater share of the manufacturing industry in the future.  

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