When Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) recently purchased Solid Concepts, a leading 3-D printing service provider, for $295 million, it came with a host of new customers, which take advantage of 3-D printing without needing the expertise. From a business perspective, buying Solid Concepts gives Stratasys the ability to tap into a deep pool of 3-D printing experience, especially around metal and direct manufacturing applications.

As a result, Stratasys can now offer a deeper breadth of services outside of its core prototyping business. In the future, it's expected that manufacturing applications will grow to represent a greater share of the 3-D printing industry, meaning that Stratasys' management was also likely motivated by longer-term factors when it decided to buy Solid Concepts.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Scott McGowan, vice president of marketing at Solid Concepts, which industries best represent its customer base. Going forward, Stratasys investors should expect that Solid Concepts will become an increasingly important aspect of its business as 3-D printing becomes a more viable manufacturing process.