When Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) bought MakerBot for $403 million in stock, and potentially another $201 million if it hits performance incentives, investors were left wondering why Stratasys would be willing to fork over $600 million in equity for a company that only earned a combined $27.2 million in revenue since the beginning 2012 through the first quarter of this year. Motley Fool contributor Steve Heller believes the steep price tag can be attributed not only to MakerBot's early adopter culture, but also a significant upcoming development for the 3-D printing industry, the expiration of key laser sintering patents.

Come February of next year, these patents held by 3D Systems will expire, opening up an opportunity for MakerBot to release a laser sintering line of 3-D printers. Check out the video below to get the full story.