Written by: Damon Kayzee
3D printing stocks make frequent financial news headlines with their characteristic volatility. Of late there have been significant percentage changes in both STRATASYS (SSYS) and 3D Systems (DDD) and many people are wondering what this means for investing in 3D printing stocks. The answer: nothing.
$40 billion a year is the estimated market for 3D printing health applications. To put that into perspective, the entire 3D printer industry is worth $1.7 billion a year now. As the technology advances it is not a big stretch to think that within a decade the industry will capitalize on at least half of the potential medical market possibilities. This $38 billion a year increase is nothing compared to the possibilities of research and development.
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In 2013, $1.5 trillion will be spent on research and development worldwide. It is valuable for a business to be able to get a physical "first draft" of a product as it makes discovering necessary design changes easier. As 3D printing technology improves it becomes more economical to print prototypes instead of using a factory to produce only a few products. Additionally, printing it is becoming more efficient than making prototypes by hand.
Not all business need a physical prototype of their product, but about $1 trillion a year is spent by companies who do need physical models. It is clear that 3D printing will eventually have a significant market share of prototyping, and sharing in a $1 trillion a year business will prove lucrative for both 3D printing companies and for those who invested in 3D printing companies.
The volatile movements of these stocks mean nothing in the long run of the industry. Those investors who can't stomach huge momentary losses should probably stay clear of these stocks. But for those who can, a lot of money can be made by recognizing the fact that 3D printers will have an increasing market share in huge global markets.
For more about investing in 3D printing check out our overview of 3D printing companies and our 3D printing stocks analysis