On a high level, 3D printing company ExOne's (NASDAQ:XONE) ExCast strategy positions the company to act as project manager for complicated casting jobs, which rely on producing 3D-printed molds to cast metal objects. Under ExCast, ExOne essentially makes sure each step of the process goes smoothly -- designing, 3D printing, casting, machining, X-raying, and certification.
In the following video, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews David Burns, ExOne global head of sales, about how ExCast differentiates the company from the competition. Although other companies in the 3D printing universe offer services similar to ExCast, Burns believes the field narrows when ExCast gets into U.S. military and defense applications, where regulations are stricter and not all the players have clearance.
A full transcript follows the video.
Steve Heller: In terms of differentiation, how does ExCast differentiate ExOne in this landscape of 3D printing?
David Burns: I think there are other companies that would argue, truthfully, that they're also in the business of integrating the need for complicated castings and executing them from design to completion -- and they are, and some of them have 3D printers. Some of them have ExOne 3D printers, so we're not unique or alone in this space.
However, when you begin to think about especially defense-related stuff and ITAR [international traffic in arms regulations], and the restrictions on who can do what on defense projects, the field narrows pretty quickly to who might be able to have both the capability and the presence in the United States to be effective.
We and a few others are in this business, but I think the business itself is out there, and it's large. There's plenty of room for multiple people to be doing pretty much what we're doing. We of course believe 3D printing is the key to it all, and therefore we think we're in a very favorable position, but we think there are lots and lots of opportunities.
Look, Steve, in the end what we're interested in is diffusing 3D printing into the industrial marketplace in an effective way. If this [ExCast] does that, and it should, then the number of opportunities will far outweigh even our ability, from a capacity viewpoint, to execute it.
We're just thrilled when people begin to say, "We want to make a really complicated casting, and we want to start with 3D printing."
Heller: Going forward, thinking about how investors should really frame ExCast relative to ExOne as a business, what perspective would you give an investor right now, that's thinking about investing in ExOne, relative to ExCast?
Burns: I think ExCast is an element of both the strategy and revenue structure we expect going forward. I wouldn't expect it to be preponderant. I don't expect it to be at some point 50%-80% of what we do, but I think it's an effective contributor from a revenue perspective and we certainly feel that we wouldn't have kept going forward if we didn't feel the margins were going to be there. We feel it's there as well.
We don't necessarily break out ExCast from an analytical perspective as clearly a stand-alone thing. It's integrated more into our total nonmachine business, and as you may know that business is growing at 30%-40% a year, and ExCast is one of the reasons it's growing.
I think it's an element of strategy and an element of execution for us, and it's one at this point we're pretty happy with.
Heller: Great. Thank you so much for your time today, David.
Steve Heller owns shares of ExOne. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of ExOne. 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.