Between 2012 and 2013, industry-leading companies like 3D Systems and Stratasys saw their stocks rise 333% and 800%, respectively. But by early 2014, investors grew skittish and fled 3D printing stocks in droves.1
The industry has continued to develop, albeit more slowly than investors initially expected. Two-thirds of American manufacturers have adopted it to some extent, whether to craft realistic prototypes of potential designs or in the actual manufacturing of final products.2
The technology has proven valuable in the aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics industries, reducing costs, wastefulness and even the amount of time it takes to evaluate design concepts, increasing efficiency and leading to bolder, more innovative products.
3D printing could lead to a “greatly simplified, highly responsive and infinitely flexible supply chain" that fulfills orders on demand.3 Manufacturers could potentially eschew massive, up-front investments in building up product inventories in favor of a more customized, lightweight model.
1 Kevin Kelleher. Time Magazine, “Was 3D Printing Just a Passing Fad?" June 10, 2015.
2 PwC. "3D Printing Comes of Age in U.S. Industrial Manufacturing," 2016.
3 Richard D'Aveni. Harvard Business Review. "The 3D Printing Revolution," May 2015.
4 UPS. "3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Industrial Manufacturing," 2016.
6 UPS. "3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Industrial Manufacturing," 2016.
7 Rob Wile. Business Insider. "The Case for 3D Printing Stocks." (2014)