In the following video, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews Fred Fischer, Stratasys' (NASDAQ:SSYS) director of fused deposition modeling and PolyJet applications, about the prospect of consumer 3D printing, the future trajectory of the company, and Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE:HPQ) upcoming entrance into the space.
Going forward, Stratasys investors should understand that the company's growth strategy is primarily focused on creating 3D printing products and solutions that help drive adoption rates and create value in the marketplace.
A full transcript follows the video.
Steve Heller: Looking at the consumer trend of 3D printing, to kind of switch gears here, when do you think the consumer will start adopting 3D printing more wholeheartedly? Is it going to be through a RedEye [3D printing] service bureau sort of setting, or is it more through the MakerBot setting, or is that more geared toward small businesses looking to produce cheap early stage prototypes?
Fred Fischer: I think our answer would be, "all of the above." One of our strategic initiatives at Stratasys is to increase the accessibility of 3D printing. That's a very broad statement that means many things to many different people.
One, it's driving the price point down or making 3D printing more accessible, but also it's making the process or the workflow much easier for more average people or more average consumers, who aren't necessarily trained in the technology to design parts, to actually produce parts using 3D printing or additive manufacturing.
When you ask about when the consumer will wholeheartedly adopt it, we already see some of that happening today. Many of the different decisions that Stratasys has made -- the acquisition of MakerBot and some of the partnerships that we're doing with some of our workflow partners -- are all aimed at increasing the accessibility of 3D printing to help drive both the commercial end of the segment, making it easier for them to adopt and utilize 3D printing, as well as the consumer segment of the marketplace.
Heller: At The Motley Fool we're very business-focused investors. We're not concerned with next quarter what your results are going to be, we're concerned about where the ship is going to be in the next 5-10 years.
I was wondering if you could give an overview of where you think the company is going and why you're onboard.
Fischer: Overall, the core value that we state is we are shaping people's lives by revolutionizing the way things are made. That happens throughout the entire spectrum of our business, from the most entry-level elements to our business, all the way up to the highest performance [3D printing] systems that we offer.
We see growth in nearly all of the segments in the marketplace, and we have both our general market as well as our vertical business focused on accelerating and driving that growth.
At Stratasys, we see vertical markets as being very strategic to our overall growth, those segments being the aerospace and automotive industries, medical, education, and dental being some very specific verticals with very specific needs that we have our company, or elements of our company, focusing on accelerating the adoption of 3D printing.
The rest of the market [industry] is generally handled by what we call our General Market Team, and they're handling the rest of the marketplace, again trying to drive that adoption with the broader commercial and to some extent the broader consumer segment as well.
Heller: I have one more bonus question for you, if you don't mind. I was wondering if you can comment on the recent developments with Hewlett-Packard's Multi Jet Fusion coming out sometime maybe late 2016. We don't really have a target date, target price, we just know it's fast relative to today's technology.
Obviously there's ample time for competitors, Stratasys included, to ramp up their capabilities against that. I was wondering, just an overview of what Stratasys is thinking at this point.
Fischer: Clearly, at Stratasys we're very focused internally on maximizing the capability and the value that our products bring.
We have a very, very large segment of our company that's focused on doing that organic growth, or maximizing the organic growth that we have by the products that we produce and put into the marketplace. Clearly, we keep an eye on the competition.
Specifically how we view each of our competitors, maybe that's not necessarily so relevant. Are we keeping an eye on HP? Absolutely. They're certainly a player to watch, and we respect the brand that they bring and the capability they may bring.
But again, today we're very focused on maximizing the value that we deliver with our own organic portfolio, and helping the marketplace adopt and get value from 3D printing and additive manufacturing.
Heller: Thank you so much for your time today, Fred. We really appreciate it.
Fischer: Thank you, pleasure.
Steve Heller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple 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.