Contributing factors to this growth will include mass customization, production of complex parts, government investment in 3D printing and improvements with respect to manufacturing efficiency.
For those interested in jumping into this exciting market, it’s worth becoming familiar with the main players. Below the Investing News Network provides an overview of the biggest firms in the 3D printing industry by market cap. All market cap and share price data was current as of September 21, 2018.
Market cap: US$40.79 billion; current share price: US$25.78
The first 3D printing company on this list is Hewlett-Packard (HP). Although not strictly a 3D printing company, HP devotes some of its time to leveraging 3D printing technology for mainstream manufacturing. It is making inroads with its Multi Jet Fusion technology, and in 2017 it unveiled the world’s first state-of-the-art laboratory to help companies develop, test and deliver the next generation of materials and applications for 3D printing.
Looking ahead, CEO Dio Wiesler said HP will expand into 3D printing metal objects. HP also has a 3D printing center in Guangdong, China, putting it at the epicenter of the world’s $12-trillion manufacturing sector. Establishing these footholds shows HP’s commitment to the 3D printing market.
Market cap: US$4.36 billion; current share price: US$161.33
Founded in 1999, Proto Labs specializes in rapid prototyping using three additive processes: stereolithography, selective laser sintering and direct metal laser sintering. The company has eight manufacturing locations on three continents, with its global headquarters located in Minnesota. The company calls itself the fastest digital manufacturer of prototypes the world over.
The company launched its industrial-grade 3D printing services in 2014, and since then has become a leader in assisting developers, designers and engineers in moving from prototyping to low-volume production. Proto Labs was given a Manufacturing Leadership Award by Frost & Sullivan in the Talent Leadership Management category in 2017, and in the Manufacturing Leadership category in 2018. It expanded its manufacturing capacity in 2018 with a new facility and more machines in Minnesota.
Market cap: US$2.17 billion; current share price: US$19.04
Next on this list of 3D printing companies is none other than 3D Systems. Since 1983, the company has been providing 3D products and services, including 3D printers, print materials, parts services and digital design tools. Chuck Hull, the inventor of stereolithography, is the company’s co-founder, executive vice president and chief technology officer.
3D Systems covers several industries with its products: manufacturing, design and engineering, 3D scanning and healthcare.
Market cap: US$1.26 billion; current share price: US$23.48
Stratasys has been in the 3D printing business since 1988, and operates primarily in the healthcare, aerospace, automotive and education markets. The company holds over 600 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally.
Some of its key patents are for the FDM®, PolyJet™ and WDM™ 3D printing technologies, which create prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files and other 3D content. The company’s subsidiaries include MakerBot, GrabCAD, RedEye On Demand and Solid Concepts, to name a few.
Market cap: US$646.47 million; current share price: US$13.66
Materialise has been providing software solutions and 3D printing services for over 25 years. It is a Belgium-based company that prides itself on focusing on software and services in the 3D printing industry with a portfolio of over 95 patents and 165 more pending.
In 2017, the company announced FDA clearance for its 3D printed patient-specific radius and ulnaosteotomy guides for children. That same year, the company announced it would begin production with HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 technology. Materialise teamed up with HP again in May 2018 to make customized 3D printed shoe insoles as part of its FitStation software.
Market cap: 386.59 million euros; current share price: 21.05 euros
Based in Germany, SLM Solutions Group’s focus is on industrial design and rapid manufacturing while producing and distributing selective laser melting systems. SLM Solutions provides its services to the automotive, aviation and aeronautics, tooling, medical, dental and research and education industries, to name a few.
Market cap: US$200.92 million; current share price: US$2.08
Next on this list of 3D printing companies is Nano Dimension. It is focused on 3D electronics printing and nanotechnology-based ink products. Its flagship products include the DragonFly 2020 3D printer, which can print high-resolution multilayer printed circuit boards in a few hours, compared to weeks or months.
In 2018, the company announced that it would be expanding its reach in the Asia-Pacific market with its new subsidiary Nano Dimension HK, after signing a strategic cooperation agreement with Shandong Guohui Investment. The two companies “anticipate that their new cooperation will result in joint scientific work between Israel and APAC, in addition to bringing high-end Israeli talent to Shandong.”
Market cap: US$153.76 million; current share price: US$9.49
Founded in 2005, ExOne’s business mainly entails making and selling 3D printing machines and products that are unique to its customers by using the installed base of 3D printing machines. ExOne uses proprietary Binder Jetting technology developed at MIT to print complex parts utilizing industrial-grade materials. This unique heatless technology uses a liquid binding agent that bonds layers of material to form an object. Some materials that have been used include metals, sands and ceramics.
In terms of its systems, ExOne’s printers range from production printers to prototyping printers to research and education printers.
Market cap: US$136.71 million; current share price: US$1.20
Ninth on this list of 3D printing companies is Organovo. It uses 3D bioprinting technology to create three-dimensional functional human tissues for medical research and surgical and therapeutic applications. These 3D printed tissues can be implanted or delivered into the human body. The company is also active in researching specific tissues for therapeutic use in direct surgical applications.
Organovo has also partnered with biopharmaceutical companies and medical centers to design, build and “validate more predictive” in vitro tissues for disease modeling and toxicology.
Market cap: US$75.37 million; current share price: US$4.05
Closing out this top 3D printing companies list is Voxeljet, a manufacturer of 3D printing systems for industrial applications. Among others it services industries such as automotive, reverse engineering, aerospace, pumps and heavy industry, architecture, art, design and film and museums.
Voxeljet’s portfolio ranges from research systems to 3D systems for large-format production and a chemical 3D printing process. In 2017, the company unveiled its high-speed sintering, and in 2018 it expanded the number of specialty materials it can use for its high-speed sintering line. Voxeljet is also developing its new VJET XHSS, which is set to launch at the close of 2019.
Do you invest in 3D printing companies? Would you invest in any of these 3D printing companies? Let us know your thoughts below.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2015.
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