Ireland-based 3-D printing company Mcor Technologies offers a highly differentiated product in the market compared to what's coming out of 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS). Instead of locking a customer into its ecosystem and selling them consumables at a high markup for the life of a printer, Mcor uses ordinary copy paper found in offices all over the world as its primary material. Consequently, Mcor's 3-D printers can cost anywhere between five and 30 times less to operate than comparable 3D Systems and Stratasys machines. Mcor's CEO Conor MacCormack believes that a good product stands on its own -- and the market is starting to recognize that Mcor offers a very compelling line of professional 3-D printers.

If only 3-D printed paper tasted as good as it looks. Source: Mcor Technologies.

Due to the paper-based nature of its prints, Mcor's products are really geared toward the early prototyping and concept modeling phase of product and part development. This phase of the development cycle is where Mcor offers the most disruptive potential against 3D Systems and Stratasys. With only a few hundred 3-D printers installed worldwide, Mcor certainly has to find a way to increase awareness that its products are well suited for a very specific, but essential, area of 3-D printing. Ultimately, what Mcor is selling to product designers with large product pipelines is the ability to reduce product development costs by a significant margin by adopting its technology at the onset of development.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Mcor CEO Conor MacCormack how the company plans on growing its awareness longer term. Going forward, 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should continue to monitor how the early prototyping market evolves because of its importance. After all, virtually every marketed product starts off life as an early prototype.

A transcript follows the video.

Steve Heller: It sounds like you're playing in the same waters as the big players -- Stratasys, 3D Systems. You're more of a smaller company; a few hundred systems installed worldwide. How do you go about growing your install base and increasing awareness that your product is serving that same exact market and doing it great, for a fraction of the cost?

Conor MacCormack: It's all about awareness levels. Going to a show like this is very important. We do a lot of shows in the U.S., a lot of shows across Europe. It's a lot of getting the information out via social media, all the social marketing that we do, so that's a big thing.

But you're correct; we do compete against these very big companies. My philosophy has always been, if you have a good idea, it's a good idea. If it's a good product that will stand up for itself, people will want to use it-and it's starting to happen.

People are starting to say, "This is something very different." It produces a great part, extremely high color, very low price point, and the product stands up for itself. Really, it needs to be able to stand up for itself, but I think that's the way the future of 3D printing has to happen -- like you go into a Best Buy and you see all the different types of mobile phones -- it has to get like that.

Heller: Sure, commoditized, yes.

MacCormack: Yes, because at the moment if you're a dealer you're locked into that.

Heller: Exactly, that agreement and that ecosystem.

MacCormack: Yes, you're locked into that system and just that one machine, or two, three, four machines of that particular company. I think for the future of 3-D printing over the next 5-10 years, it has to become a lot more open.

Heller: Sure.