Thanks to the explosive rise of 3-D printing, there's a good chance 2014 will be another big year for advanced manufacturing stocks. After all, these breakthroughs are finally coming of age and giving everyday users unprecedented access to advanced manufacturing processes. The fact that anyone with an Internet connection, a vision, and a little know-how can become a full-scale manufacturer is simply amazing.

This puts 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB), and General Electric (NYSE:GE) in interesting positions to benefit from what many are calling the third industrial revolution. In the following video, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller gives his reasons for why these companies will likely be making big moves in the year ahead and why he likes them over the long term.

Fool contributor Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems and Proto Labs. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Proto Labs. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems, General Electric Company, and Proto Labs 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.