How to invest in 3D printing

Iona Bain for IG:  3D printing is a sector that no investor interested in technology can ignore. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy sector to invest in. It’s in its infancy after all.

Its biggest name, Stratasys, has seen its shares plunge by 75% over the past four years, and the competitive landscape is changing continually.

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a process of adding and fusing materials under computer control to make three—dimensional objects from a digital file. It already serves sectors from manufacturing to aerospace, architecture to healthcare, and has evolved from a niche startup area into a maturing industry with investment from the likes of GE, Hewlett—Packard and Microsoft.

What has been called the ‘3D printing hype curve’ saw valuations soar, then plunge in 2015, as investors woke up to the reality that groundbreaking and innovative technology does not guarantee speedy commercial success. But in November 2017, Porsche and the venture capital arms of Microsoft and Siemens invested $30 million in 3D printing startup Markforged, whose customers include GE, Airbus and Ford. That came after GE snapped up two European players, highlighting how industrial giants are betting that the emerging technology will transform manufacturing.   Full Article:

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