An example of micro selective laser sintering. Source: 3D MicroPrint.

Meet micro laser sintering, or MLS. It's the latest 3-D printing innovation based on selective laser sintering, an additive manufacturing process that uses a laser to heat and melt a bed of powder material layer by layer until the object is formed. MLS uses the same conventions, but instead operates on the micron level, capable of producing layers as thin as two microns.

German 3-D printing maker EOS teamed up with 3D-Micromac, a leading provider of highly efficient laser micromachining systems to commercialize the technology and attack a $5 billion micromachining market opportunity. With a first-mover advantage, it gives EOS an opportunity to establish a leadership position against 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), a company that often leads within the 3-D printing industry.

In the following video, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller sheds light on this incredible innovation and what it could mean for 3D Systems investors over the longer term.

Fool contributor Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems and has the following options: short January 2014 $20 puts on 3D Systems. 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.