Why 3-D Printing Isn't an Exact Science

Understanding the limitations of the technology.

Steve Heller
Steve Heller
Jul 18, 2014 at 12:24PM
Industrials

As much as 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) strive for ease of use with their 3-D printers, operating them is far from an exact science for industrial customers. In manufacturing settings, 3-D printing engineers have to consider a host of real-world challenges that are often only realized after a 3-D printer is purchased from 3D Systems or Stratasys. As far as 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should be concerned, a general lack of technical 3-D printing expertise across the manufacturing industry could inhibit adoption rates over the long term.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Kevin Ayers, industry manager at SME, to explain some of the technical aspects 3-D printing engineers have to consider. Going forward, 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should be aware that the technical challenges associated with operating an industrial 3-D printer isn't likely going to get orders of magnitude easier in the immediate future. Still, 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should continue to monitor the industrial 3-D printing landscape because of its outsized contribution to revenues today, and it's poised to represent a greater share of the manufacturing industry in the future.