3-D Printing Will Change the World

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Imagine being able to quickly and efficiently create any product. from a bolt to a jet wing or even a pair of shoes. Now imagine being able to design said jet wing on a computer, press print, and pull the completed wing out of a machine. Sounds like the future, doesn't it? Well, it might not be too far off, according to Forbes.

Printing in 3-D can accommodate countless applications with a multitude of materials that can even be reused. The printing process can be adjusted for resolution, layering by even as small as a few microns at a time. One of the most exciting capabilities is in the medical field. Engadget reported on an entire jaw replacement for an 83-year old woman using a titanium jaw printed by a 3-D printer. They said that the woman returned to almost "normal speaking and swallowing the day after the operation."

The technology is only just now hitting its stride, and has an incredible amount of future potential in an endless amount of industries. 3-D Systems (NAS: DDD) develops and sells a 3-D printer that average consumers can purchase, as well as industrial-level printers for large manufacturers of consumer electronic devices. Another company in the 3-D printing market is Stratasys (NAS: SSYS) .


Business section: Investing ideas
With such a large potential market, what are some of the drawbacks?

As you can see from the following chart, both companies mentioned above have seen high growth in 2012 -- do you think it will continue? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

Interactive Chart: Use the Turbo Chart to compare the stock performance of DDD and SSYS against the Standard & Poor's 500 index:


 

1. 3-D Systems: Engages in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and servicing of 3-D printers and related products, print materials, and services. It has a market cap of $1.42 billion. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 13.46% (equivalent to 7.51 days of average volume). Exhibiting strong upside momentum, it's currently trading 11.36% above its 20-day simple moving average, 18.69% above its 50-day SMA, and 45.52% above its 200-day SMA. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 14.46% over the last week.

2. Stratasys: Engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of 3-D printing, rapid prototyping, and direct digital manufacturing systems primarily in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. It has a market cap of $1.02 billion. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 11.07% (equivalent to 9.52 days of average volume). Exhibiting strong upside momentum, it's currently trading 22.97% above its 20-day SMA, 26.32% above its 50-day SMA, and 53.04% above its 200-day SMA. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 32.99% over the last week.

At the time this article was published Kapitall's Danny Guttridge does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of 3D Systems and Stratasys. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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