Ireland-based Mcor Technologies has an easy time converting 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) customers, as its paper-based monochrome and full-color professional 3-D printers operate at a fraction of their cost. Instead of locking customers into expensive proprietary materials like 3D Systems and Stratasys, Mcor's 3-D printers use ordinary copy paper found in offices around the world. The end result is that Mcor's printers cost between five and thirty times less to operate than competing 3D Systems and Stratasys machines. For product developers needing a high volume of conceptual models and early prototypes, this cost savings could translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars over the device's lifetime.
In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Mcor CEO Conor MacCormack if Mcor is having success with converting 3D Systems and Stratasys customers. Beyond Mcor posing a disruptive threat to 3D Systems and Stratasys, investors should also be aware that there are situations when Mcor's products are complimentary to 3D Systems and Stratasys' offerings.
A full transcript follows the video.
Steve Heller: Your customer base, where you're getting them from, and if you're having success converting Stratasys, 3D Systems customers over to Mcor. Are you having any difficulty, or have they been really receptive? Has the product been well received in the market?
Conor MacCormack: To be honest, our easiest sales are when we walk into an office and they have one of our competitors' [3D Systems and Stratasys] technologies, because they know the value of 3-D printing; they've invested heavily to get one. But they also know the pain, and the running costs are very, very high.
Those things are already proven to them. They know what they can do, but they also know it's really expensive, so when we turn up with our solution and they get to see the parts, you don't even have to explain that it's low -- they just know -- it's going to be paper, it's going to be low running cost. They're our easiest sales, believe it or not.
There's plenty of anecdotal knowledge where you could take maybe 10% of a build that's on a very big machine -- on a competitor's [like 3D Systems and Stratasys], that's very expensive -- and just taking 10% of the work off that machine pays for our machine.
Heller: Your machine, in a way, can be complementary to other technologies, because it's earlier on in the prototyping process, so as they need more functional -- maybe they need multi material, or rubber, or whatever technology is out there, like the [Stratasys] Objet Connex3 -- they could use that later on in the process, save their running costs overall by investing in your system earlier on.
MacCormack: I think so, yes. Definitely on the commercial side, I see a position for us to be comparable with other technologies, and we can work hand-in-hand.
Heller: Complementary is interesting. It's not like you're necessarily combative with other technologies all the time. There's instances where both work well together.
MacCormack: Yes, absolutely. I think in that case, that's very well-defined, and we have a lot of examples where we're winning on Stratasys deals, we're winning on 3D Systems deals, very much at the corporate enterprise level.
I think when you move into the consumer level, even though the price point of the machine, as I mentioned before, is high, but the end product I think is very suited to the consumer. We are unique in that way, that we have a very, very good solution; the perfect solution, I believe, for the consumer, for printing out photographs and busts and pictures of the kids.
Heller: I know you have something like that in the Netherlands, through Staples. Is that happening in America any time soon?
MacCormack: Well, all I can say is that we're working with plenty of companies that want to bring that on. It's just very exciting to be able to do that. Not only are people interested in selling our products, but also offering that as a service and offering that to people who don't want to buy a machine, but want to get 3-D printed content.
I think, very similar to the 2-D printer analogy where 10-20 years ago people would never dream of printing a photograph at home -- they always went down to their local store or CVS, that would have a bigger, higher-end machine in the background doing the prints. I think there's a similar opportunity for the consumer.
I'm not talking about the makers. I'm talking about the people on the street.
Heller: Right, that want their wedding photo printed.
MacCormack: Yes. They're mom or dad; people that don't know the technology and don't really care how the technology works. They would just like to have a really nice keepsake, something on the mantelpiece or something that they can give somebody as a gift.
I think the access that they need is not about buying the technology, but it's going into a store and making it very easy to upload the content -- or take a photograph, ideally -- and get that printed out in 3-D. I think that's the path, until home machines get to the point where they're just as good as what you get on the industrial machines, which will happen, but just not yet.
Heller: Very good. Thank you so much, Conor. We' really appreciate your time.
MacCormack: No problem. It was a pleasure talking to you again.
Heller: Thanks for watching, ladies and gentlemen. Fool on!
Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems, CVS Caremark, and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems 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.