Camtek

In news announced this morning,  Camtek (CAMT) announced the successful completion of beta-testing of their enterprise grade “Gryphon” 3D inkjet printer for application of solder mask on printed circuit boards. The testing was conducted by Eltek (ELTK), a leading manufacturer of printed circuit boards.

In the press release, Roberto Tulman, Deputy CEO and CTO of Eltek commented:

“We thank Camtek and its dedicated team for the opportunity to test and use this new technology, helping us fabricate PCBs with better soldermask registration and shorter lead times. Operator training has already begun and we look forward to incorporating this new capability within our production process and realizing its full potential.”

 

Congratulations to subscribers who bought Camtek shares under $3 along with me when I wrote this article on 11/12/2014, as the stock is trading up in active premarket action on Nasdaq this morning. Options in Camtek are also available for those who trade them.

I believe the rise is due to 4 factors:

  1. This morning’s announcement
  2. Camtek shares were extremely oversold following Q3 earnings (see article)
  3. Average analyst EPS estimate is for a dramatic increase  to .33/share in 2015 vs. .15/share estimate for this year
  4. Demonstration of the company’s new “Gryphon” inkjet technology 3D printer for solder mask application will take place next week in the heart of Silicon Valley

While the analyst average estimate for an EPS increase to .33/share for 2015 vs. .15/share 2014 may be a bit lofty, considering the lack of share dilution involved in this new product launch combined with Camtek’s strong balance sheet ($24 million cash, zero long term debt, current ratio 3.1),  I think it’s reasonable to assume commercialization of the Gryphon will add significantly to the company’s bottom line next year.

Camtek Gryphon

The Gryphon’s pending launch was addressed by Camtek CFO, Moshe Eisenberg, in the company’s Q3 conference call:

“We are progressing with the commercialization process of Gryphon, our 3D functional inkjet technology product for PCB solder applications. We recently opened a demonstration center in California, South of Los Angeles where potential customer can evaluate the product, supporting our efforts to capitalize on the industry interest we are seeing in this product.
Our two better sites are almost complete, one of the sites is running production loads. In the second site the machine is running qualification loads for end customers. The more we ran the machine in the production environment as well as meeting with potential customers, the more confident we become in our belief that inkjet technology for solder mask will be the dominant technology in the PCB industry for years to come. We remain on track and expect initial commercial Gryphon installations at customers to begin in the fourth quarter with revenue expected in 2015. We intend to leverage our existing installed based and marketing channels worldwide to sell this product.”
 
 

Graphene 3D Lab Inc. gary siig

3D systems

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Disclosure: I am long shares of CAMT. I was not paid by any company or third party for this article.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

3D SystemsIn news this morning, 3D Systems (DDD) announced they are acquiring Cimatron (CIMT), a  leading provider of integrated 3D CAD/CAM software products and solutions for manufacturing.

Cimatron (web site) generated .48/share in earnings for the trailing twelve month period and analysts estimate were for an increase to .54/share in 2015.

The deal includes $20 million in cash held by Cimatron and is expected to add to profit and cash flow immediately after the close in the first quarter of 2015.

Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3DS commented.

“We believe that the perfect strategic fit between our businesses, combined with expanded capabilities in product development, channel coverage and marketing, could present sizeable synergies that together offer significant long-term customer benefits and shareholder value.”

 3D Systems (DDD) to Acquire Cimatron (CIMT)

Good Deal for 3D Systems

Based on initial information, this appears to be a very favorably priced acquisition by 3D Systems at $8.97/share given Cimatron’s strong cash flow and earnings history.  Cimatron traded as high as $10.75 earlier this year.

 

This acquisition increases my confidence in why I bought  shares of 3D Systems heavily two weeks ago.


Graphene 3D Lab Inc. gary siig

 

3D systems

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Disclosure: I am long shares of DDD. I was not paid by any company or third party for this article.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

3D Systems In my article “3D systems Q2 Earnings- How I’m Playing it and Why” written prior to the company’s Q2 release, I wrote that I was basically waiting for Q3 to go “all in” shares of 3D Systems (DDD), and the reasons why.

Since then, the company’s announcement of constraints in direct metal 3D printer production capacity led to lowered Q3 earnings and a 25% decline in share price in the last 3 weeks.

Because the Q3 miss was primarily due to issues of production capacity (now corrected according to management) and not demand, I’m now “all in” with a full position.

3D Systems

I believe the bottom for 3D Systems is either in or very near based on reasons I’ll explain below.

I bought DDD shares heavily last week and now have the largest position in 3D Systems since I first discovered and invested in the company in late 2010.  While I always endeavor to be ahead of the market and love “bottom fishing”, I won’t fight the market either. I’ve set a 7% stop-loss order for capital preservation in case I’m wrong and weakness continues.


3D Systems shares oversold, overshorted, and overhated

Shares in DDD are down some 63% YTD with acceleration (33% decline) of that loss made in just the last 2 months. The Williams %R has bounced between -90 to -100 in the last two weeks, indicating deeply oversold conditions. Of course the Williams %R indicator isn’t perfect and a stock can continue a strong downtrend while remaining oversold for many, many months…which is why my stop-loss is in place.

36.6 million DDD shares are sold short-  a whopping 38% of the float.  My belief is the Q3 miss has been priced in and this level of short shares is a contrarian indicator.

The level of unrealistic expectations and media hype that drove 3D printing stocks to their highs last year has now been equaled by negativity to the downside.

3D Systems is the favorite target of shorts, with negative articles by short sellers published almost daily on SeekingAlpha.

In an article on TheStreet.com last week, “Why the 3D Printing Hype Is Still Not Matching the Reality”, the author opined:

Stories about how biotech firms are using 3D printers to create replacement body parts are frequent fodder for Web news sites and give the unaware the idea that the 3D printer for sale at Staples or Amazon will have somewhat similar capabilities.

This is every bit as ridiculous as the headlines from a year ago that claimed “You can now 3D print anything you want!”, only it’s at the other end of the spectrum. Would anyone buying a 3D printer at Staples think for even a moment that their new 3D printer will have “somewhat similar capabilities” as bioprinting human organs?  

Negativity and fear surrounding pure play 3D printing stocks and 3D Systems in particular is now at the highest point I’ve ever seen it. This is quite a change from the frenzied, parabolic rides that were fueled by media hype last year.

Warren Buffett famously said he made his money by being fearful when others are greedy and being greedy when others are fearful.  Given the fear of longs (and some outright loathing by short sellers) surrounding 3D printing in general and shares of 3D Systems more specifically, I believe now is the time to get greedy.


Q3 shortfall a capacity, not demand issue

An earnings miss due to declining demand is one thing.  A miss primarily due to capacity constraints is another, and that’s what the 3D Systems Q3 basically boiled down to. When production can’t meet demand and you have the cash and ability to quickly rectify the situation, it’s more than likely a boon for the coming quarter(s). 

As of September 30, 2014 order backlog was $46.0 million. This compares to backlogs of $28.6 million at December 31, 2013 and $14.4 million for Q3 2013.  Much of the Q3 backlog should be realized in Q4, as the company has since added a second direct metal 3D printers’ manufacturing line to meet demand.

Regarding the capacity issue, CEO Avi Reichental explained:

“Now that we are ramping up production in a second direct metals facility, we expect to be able to meet this rising demand during the fourth quarter and beyond.”

The Q3 shortfall was also related to a decision to delay launch of some products at the consumer grade. This has been rectified as well. Damon Gregoire, SVP and CVO commented:

“Our decision to delay our latest consumer products decreased our consumer growth rate by 43% compared to last year’s third quarter. Now that we have begun shipping our latest consumer products we expect this category to contribute favorably and return to more healthy organic growth rates over the next periods.”


Hewlett-Packard’s entry into 3D printing is now scheduled the second half of 2016 (or later?)

HP’s CEO, Meg Whitman, remarked in October 2013 that “3D printers are like watching ice melt.” Following that attention-grabbing statement the official announcement of HP’s entry into 3D printing was twice delayed… along with the launch of their enterprise level Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer. HP’s printer launch has been pushed back…way back… and is (at least for now) scheduled for the second half of 2016. Even then, HP’s 3D printer will only print in plastic.

How long will it take before HP might enter the high-growth metals 3D printing space to potentially wrestle some market share from 3D Systems and other players?  Given the fact that ice melts at faster speeds than HP has been able to launch their (plastics only) printer, not anytime soon. While HP’s 3D printer speeds are projected to be some 10X faster than what was available a year ago, printing speeds and print quality continue to improve industry-wide. In “technology time”, from now until the second half of 2016 is an eternity and 10X faster speeds may not be very remarkable by then. So I think it’s far too soon to predict the impact HP may have on 3D Systems or other players, other than to remind investors that HP’s launch is a long way off and every company in the industry is increasing printing speed and print quality with each new iteration of their machines.

3D SystemsTake a Prodways D35 3D printer (pictured at left) for example. This printer is capable of manufacturing (not just prototyping) jewelry pendants of 2.5 cm in under 11 seconds per unit according to a press release last week from parent company Groupe Gorge.  My guess is that’s at least 10X faster than “watching ice melt”…and the D35 printer isn’t limited to plastic.

Closer to home, 3D Systems is developing a system for manufacturing Google’s Project Ara smartphone components that will no doubt set both production volume and production speed records.

3D printers typically use a moving printhead on a stationary bed. The 3D Systems high-speed continuous fab-grade printer system puts the print bed in motion on a track system under a set of stationary printheads. The result is a 3D printing assembly line with multiple products printing at once, each  unique, in full color and multi materials.

Production speeds of 50X current technology are expected be achieved by 3D Systems in 2015 with this system.

 Perhaps more importantly, this system can be utilized in multiple applications.

CEO Avi Reichental explains:

“We believe that this high-speed continuous 3D printing platform and polymers would have wide applications into a variety of both industrial and consumer goods type manufacturing applications.”

and

“We expect to be able to apply the benefits of these developments into many, many other industrial and consumer goods applications.”


 Increasing medical/healthcare industry focus

3D systems is making strong inroads into the medical industry via acquisitions and new product offerings.

  • This year’s acquisition of Medical Modeling brings proprietary virtual surgical planning and medical device 3D printing expertise
  • The acquisition of Belgium’s LayerWise also expands capabilities in medical and dental direct metal 3D printed devices and implants
  • The Simbionix acquisition is also noteworthy as a leading provider of 3-D virtual reality robotics-based surgical simulation and training products

 

3D Systems healthcare 3D printers

The increasing strength of 3D Systems in the medical/healthcare industry is a major reason to like the stock here. 

In August, Gartner released their 2014 outlook for 3D printing and medical/healthcare applications are predicted to be among the first to achieve broad-based, global adoption “within 2-5 years.”

IDTechEx researchers also conclude that “The medical/dental sector has strong growth potential. Currently forecast at $186M for 2014, it will grow to $868M by 2025 led by dental applications and increasing use for the manufacture of orthopaedic implants.”


I read what the analysts say carefully. Then I do the opposite.

In November-December of 2013 most analysts from the big firms had “outperform”, “buy”, or “strong buy” ratings on 3D Systems when the stock was at $70+/share. Many of those same firms are now saying you should sell in the $30/share range. Out of 23 firms, 61% now have a “hold”, “underperform”, or “sell” recommendation on the stock according to Thomson/First Call.

I did not load up on 3D Systems at $70+ last year. Instead, I introduced Groupe Gorge to subscribers on 11/29/13 and after more due diligence called it “The Best 3D Printing Stock to Buy Now” on 12/9/13. The chart below tells the rest of the story.

3D Systems stock chart

So I’m not listening (again) to the majority of analysts.  I bought 3D Systems with both hands last week, even as the stock continued to make new 52 week lows.


 

Insider buying last week

Company insider Walter Lowenbaum isn’t listening to analysts either. He bought over $880,000 worth of shares in the open market last week (Form 4).

Now there are many reasons why insiders might sell shares of their stock- and sometimes it has nothing to do with their personal view of the company’s future. That said, there is only one reason for insiders to buy shares in the open market…because they believe the stock is undervalued. There’s also “token gesture” insider buying vs. meaningful position buying, with this level of investment obviously being the latter.


 

Due to the above, I’m confident that shares of DDD are now undervalued and poised to move higher. Being confident and being right are two different things however. Unforeseen factors such as a broad market correction or the potential effect of tax-loss selling as the year winds down are impossible to predict, underscoring the importance of stop-loss orders.


Graphene 3D Lab Inc. gary siig

 

3D systems

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Disclosure: I am long shares of DDD. I was not paid by any company or third party for this article.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

Technical Analysis on 3D Systems

Shares of 3D Systems are down some 64% from their 52 week highs.  

Is the stock a buy here?  I think so, and explain why in this article.

 

I asked the best technical analysis expert I know, Clay Trader, for his thoughts on where DDD shares might be headed next.

Video: Technical Analysis on 3D Systems


Graphene 3D Lab Inc. gary siig

 

3D systems

Follow me on Twitter: @3DPrintingStock

Subscribe to 3DPrintingStocks.com for free (box in left upper corner of page) to get news, articles, interviews, and actionable information on 3D printing stocks delivered to your inbox.


 

Disclosure: I am long shares of DDD. I was not paid by any company or third party for this content.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

Graphene 3D LabGraphene 3D Lab (web site) CEO Dr. Daniel Stolyarov was on Fox News today speaking about the company’s proprietary 3D printed battery technology.

You can see the interview by using this link.

Read why I believe Graphene 3D Lab is The Best 3D Printing Stock to Buy Now.

 

 


 

Graphene 3D Lab Inc. gary siig

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @3DPrintingStock

Subscribe to 3DPrintingStocks.com for free (box in left upper corner of page) to get news, articles, interviews, and actionable information on 3D printing stocks delivered to your inbox.

 


 

Disclosure: I am long shares of Graphene 3D Lab. See additional disclosure in 8/11/14 article linked above. 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

I’d like to try something new here at 3DPrintingStocks.com, and that is to present what I believe are excellent short-term trading opportunities on occasion with stocks that are connected to 3D printing industry…either as pure plays or otherwise.

The first stock I’ll do this with is Camtek (CAMT) which reported a respectable Q3 on October 29.  For the bottom line,  Q3 quarter resulted in GAAP earnings per share of  $0.02 compared to $0.00 per share in the third quarter of 2013. GAAP EPS has for the ttm period has increased to .13/share.

 

Analysts are expecting big growth from Camtek in 2015 with the commercialization of Gryphon.  The average  EPS estimate is increased to .33/share in 2015, giving  Camtek a forward PE of 9 at the current share price.

Gryphon by CamtekCamtek has opened a testing center in the heart of Silicon Valley for their new Gryphon 3D inkjet printer- which applies solder mask onto PCBs (printed circuit boards). I believe this is truly revolutionary technology that could have broad appeal in the PCB market, a $59 billion/year industry in the U.S. alone  according to the IPC World PCB Production Report for the Year 2013.

 

 

 

 Camtek’s Chairman and CEO, Rafi Amit, commented:

“Strategically the third quarter was very important for us and sets the stage for 2015. We opened a demonstration center for the Gryphon, our 3D Functional InkJet Technology system for PCB solder mask applications, at which potential customers can see the system in action. This will support our efforts to capitalize on the industry interest we are seeing in this product. We remain on track and expect initial commercial Gryphon installations to begin in the fourth quarter, with revenues expected in 2015.

Additionally, our semiconductor systems achieved qualification at leading semiconductor manufacturers, some of which we had not significantly penetrated in the past. These are large vendors that are getting ready to ramp up with their new manufacturing facilities and their capabilities. As the demand for their products picks up we expect to see the potential for getting multiple orders and selling significant quantities of tools.”

and

“For the fourth quarter, we expect revenues of around $20.5-$22.5 million. Looking further out to 2015, we believe the tailwinds are in place for solid year-over-year growth in both revenue and profit.”

However, the stock has lost some 30% since the Q3 report, making what I believe to be an excellent buying opportunity.

The company has strong balance sheet , allowing commercialization of the Gryphon 3D inkjet printer to proceed rapidly.

Balance Sheet
Total Cash (mrq): 24.22M
Total Cash Per Share (mrq): 0.79
Total Debt (mrq): 0.00
Total Debt/Equity (mrq): N/A
Current Ratio (mrq): 3.12
Book Value Per Share (mrq): 2.15

 

Trading recommendation:  Buy CAMT at or near $3.00/share for a potential short-term rebound of 20%. Set stop-loss order at 5% below your entry price to preserve capital should weakness continue. 

See also: November 2014 investor presentation.

 

CamtekABOUT CAMTEK LTD.
Camtek Ltd. provides automated and technologically advanced solutions dedicated to enhancing production processes, increasing products yield and reliability, enabling and supporting customer’s latest technologies in the Semiconductors, Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) and IC Substrates industries.
Camtek addresses the specific needs of these interconnected industries with dedicated solutions based on a wide and advanced platform of technologies including intelligent imaging, image processing and functional 3D inkjet printing.

 


 

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Disclosure: I am long shares of CAMT.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

Christopher BarnattChristopher Barnatt is a futurist, videographer and Associate Professor of Strategy & Future Studies in Nottingham University Business School. He is widely known in the 3D printing industry and engages widely with the media, with recent contributions to BBC News, The Times, The Guardian and numerous radio stations. Christopher is the author of ExplainingTheFuture.com, ExplainingComputers.com and their associated YouTube channels. To date he has written ten books on future studies and computing.

Christopher barnatt Interview- 3D printing second edition3D Printing: Second Edition (published November 6, 2014) is a major update of the highly popular3D Printing: The Next Industrial Revolution. The book provides an extensive overview of all 3D printing technologies, together with a detailed analysis of the 3D printing industry, and broader predictions for future digital manufacturing. The book features over one hundred interviews, examples and illustrations, and is a valuable resource for all enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, designers, investors and students who want to remain up-to-date with the Next Industrial Revolution.


GA:  Congratulations on your most recent book, 3D Printing: Second Edition.  I bought my copy at Amazon and eagerly await its arrival. What are some of the new chapters and material that readers will find in this edition?

CB: The book is a major update of my first 3D printing book from May 2013, with about 70 per cent of the content new or re-written. Plus the book is longer! I’ve kept the same basic structure – so there are chapters on 3D printing technologies, the 3D printing industry, direct digital manufacturing and so on — but so much has changed over the past 18 months that all of these needed a lot of new input to be brought right up to date. Throughout, the book has more industry analysis this time around, which begins in the very first chapter. I’ve also replaced a previous chapter on “3D Printing and Sustainability” with one called “3D Printing in Context”. This looks at the broader world in which 3D printing is increasingly finding a home, with a major focus on local digital manufacturing (LDM). On top of these changes there are new interviews, lots of new images, and a more extensive glossary and industry directory, with the latter being more global in its coverage this time.

GA: It’s been about 18 months since your first book on 3D printing was published. What are a few of the positive changes/advances you’ve seen in the industry since then?

CB: In terms of the industry, and as reflected on 3DprintingStocks.com, there are now more publicly traded players, and not just pure-plays. I think the entry of Kinpo Group – in the guise of XYZ Printing – is a very positive and interesting development. Granted, HP has announced its intention to start selling 3D printers by 2016, and Bosch/Dremel is now selling hardware made for them by Chinese manufacturer Flash Forge 3D Technology. But Kinpo Group is a well-established consumer electronics manufacturer – with a turnover of about $30bn – that is actually manufacturing and selling personal 3D printers, and very aggressively priced ones at that.

More broadly, since the launch of the first book, 3D printing has secured its place in the public psyche. Most people still don’t know a great about 3D printing, but the majority have at least heard of it. We’ve also got 3D printers for sale in some traditional stores, and an increasing number of bureaus offering 3D printing services. Some of these are even being run by large logistics organizations, including UPS in the United States, La Poste in France, and SingPost in Singapore. The fact that such companies are taking a proactive interest in 3D printing is I think very significant. As the manager of a one 3D printer manufacturer said to me only this afternoon, both the general public and companies really do now realize that “3D printing is here and it is not going to go away”. So, over the last 18 months, the big question people are asking has changed from “what is 3D printing?” to “what are the implications of 3D printing?”. And that is a quite a shift in such a short period of time.

GA: The second chapter of this edition is titled: “3D Printing Technologies — detailing every technology on the market or in the lab”.

What do you see as some of the more interesting/exciting technologies currently under development?

CB: In many ways, some of the most interesting developments are initiatives to increase access to existing technologies by driving down the price and/or bringing them to the desktop. For example, in the last few years we’re seen stereolithography arrive on the desktop for a few thousand dollars with printers like the Form1+ from FormLabs – something almost unimaginable not that many years ago.

Christopher barnatt interview- Realizer SLM printer
Realizer SLM-50 desktop metal powder printer

This year we’ve also got direct metal powder printing on the desktop with the SLM-50 from Realizer, and we should see laser sintering in nylon powders as a low-cost desktop technology very soon. Making tried-and-tested technologies commercial for a larger market is very challenging, but nevertheless it is starting to happen.

In the past 18 months, we’ve also seen an expanded range of material extrusion filaments become available for personal 3D printing. Not least we now have bronzeFill and copperFill from ColorFab. These are composites of PLA and PHA mixed with a metal powder, and allow really solid things to printed on a wide range of desktop hardware, and then polished up to look and feel amazing. We’ve also now got several thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) filaments available, so allowing the desktop printout of flexible, elastic objects. And then there are filaments that combine carbon nanotubes with a plastic to create conductive, easily-extrudable materials.

Christopher Barnatt interview- Markforged
Mark One- continuous carbon fiber printer

Linked to the above, the development of desktop material extrusion printers – like the Mark One from MarkForged – that can 3D embed a continuous carbon fiber or Kevlar reinforcement strand into a thermoplastic printout is very significant, as it allows objects to be created that are stiffer than aluminum. As 3DprintingStocks.com has been reporting, Graphene 3D Lab are also making great progress with nanocomposite filaments that incorporate graphene into a plastic material. They recently even managed to 3D print the components required for a graphene battery (see video). What all of this means is that, increasingly, it will be possible for individual makers to 3D print a very wide range of parts on the desktop. In turn, such parts will be able to be assembled into useful stuff. For example, I recently saw some shoes 3D printed using bronzeFill for the bulk of the shoe, and the Ninjaflex TPE for the uppers. This allowed a wearable product to be 3D printed that would have been impossible on a consumer 3D printer a year ago. And to me that represents real progress.

The way in which major players are managing to push forward existing technology has also I think been very significant in 2014. Most notably, we’ve seen Stratasys deliver colour multimaterial PolyJet 3D printing with their Objet500 Connex3.

Christopher barnatt interview - 3D Systems Projet
ProJet 4500 from 3D Systems

Meanwhile 3D Systems have introduced a ColorJet binder jetting printer – the ProJet 4500 — that can produce full-colour, semi-rigid plastic objects that require no post-processing. ExOne have also introduced the nickel alloy Inconel 625 as a new build material for their binder jetting direct metal 3D printing process. Given that this process has for years been limited to bronze, or to stainless steel and bronze, this could have major implications in sectors like aerospace.

When it comes to completely new technologies, I have been surprised by how many I have had to add in to the new book! They include ‘scan, spin and selectively photocure’ (3SP), lithography-based ceramic manufacture, Moving DLP, and the MultiJet Fusion process recently announced by HP. To try and keen everything in order, in the new book I’ve structured the expanded technologies chapter under the seven generic ASTM technology categories, which I hope makes things easier to navigate. I really hope that, in the next 18 months, the 3D printing industry starts to agree on some standard terminology and to increasingly apply it.

GA: What are some of the challenges that need to be met for consumer grade 3D printers to become ubiquitous in our lives? Likewise, what are some of the challenges facing industrial 3D printing?

CB: Personal 3D printers needs to get cheaper and more useful, and there are also strong signs that this is happening. Not that many years ago, most people who owned a personal 3D printer had built it themselves from an open source design. But now there are well over 100 pre-assembled models that arrive in a box pretty much ready-to-print, and at increasingly competitive prices. Still “personal 3D printers” are classed as those costing $5,000 or less, and it think it would be useful instead start talking about “consumer 3D printers”, costing up to $1,500, and “prosumer 3D printers”, priced from $1,500 to $5,000, as these will be in increasingly different markets.

Beyond the hardware, I think that the driver of domestic personal printing will be content availability. Though with over 500,000 objects now available for download from object sharing websites like Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory, it is no longer the case that people will have to design their own stuff. We’ve also recently seen some great consumer 3D scanners come to market, and this will additionally help to create a demand for printers themselves. This all said, I think it will be a very long time indeed before most homes have a 3D printer. Rather, 3D printing bureau services – equipped with professional hardware across the entire 3D printing technology range – will service people’s 3D printing requirements most of the time. Yes, an increasing number of individual makers will own and cherish a 3D printer. But even if we hit the fairly widely predicted figure of a million personal 3D printers being sold a year by 2020, this I think will not be that significant a proportion of total 3D printing industry revenues. In fact, by 2020, a million personal 3D printers a year will deliver less than a billion dollars in revenue – which will probably be less than 10 per cent of total 3D printing industry revenues by that point in time. So the very common idea that it will be personal 3D printing that drives forward the 3D Printing Revolution is, I think, somewhat flawed. Yes, personal 3D printing is going to be a big market. But I suspect that, even decades out, it will continue to be dwarfed by the industrial side of the market.

On the industrial side, I think that challenge is more to open company’s eyes to what is already possible. Right now many firms could save a great deal of money by starting to use 3D printers to produce molds, patterns, jigs and other production tooling. Opportunities to customized products by simply adding one or two 3D printed components are now very significant, and the hardware to achieve this is available, even if it will continue to improve. So the business challenge is I think already one of changing mindsets as much as creating new technologies.

GA: What trends currently in motion do you predict could be game-changing for the 3D printing industry?

CB: The biggest change in the medium-term is going to be transition of 3D printing from something that is mainly used for prototyping to something that is mainly used for manufacturing. Right now, as we all know, 3D printing is a rapid prototyping technology that is sometimes used to make end-use parts or a few final products. But by 2020, the scales will have tipped, and 3D printing will have become a manufacturing technology that will sometimes also be used for rapid prototyping. This will start to blur the lines between prototyping and final production. But far more significantly, it will also require major changes in how 3D printing is perceived and marketed.

For the best part of 30 years, 3D printer manufacturers have operated in the pretty niche market sector of rapid prototyping. But fairly soon their business will be the production of mainstream manufacturing technology, and that is a somewhat different beast to tame with different commercial demands. In a similar vein, the manufacturers of personal 3D printers have grown up servicing the needs of Maker enthusiasts, and yet for the market to grow they will need to learn to meet the far tougher demands of mainstream consumers. Walk around a 3D printing tradeshow today and it is rather obvious that eight per cent of exhibitors do not really have marketing on their minds. But the time I write the third and fourth editions of my 3D printing book, I think the companies that dominate 3D printing will be those that have best learnt to how operate in their new mass markets, rather than necessarily those with the best technologies. Just look at Microsoft in computing – it got the marketing right early on, not really the technology. But in doing so it stole the market for decades. Well at least until now!

More broadly, I would point to two other trends. In the short term, I think we are already witness to a broadening of focus away from 3D printers, and toward the management and operation of end-to-end digital workflows that span design to end product production and even delivery. As Adobe’s technology futurist, Jordan Brandt, recently put it, ‘the hardware, software and materials are all combing’. It will not be the companies who make or buy the best 3D printers that will dominate the future 3D printing marketplace, but those who learn how to seamlessly manage concept-to-delivery digital threads. For example, for those companies that want to deliver successful 3D printed customized products, the key thing will be to develop the best interface (often online) between the customer and the business, and then to put in place the best logistics chain to deliver a printout to their door.

In the longer term, I think that the real driver of 3D printing will be the way in which it will enable the rise of local digital manufacturing (LDM) as a more sustainable alternative to the current mantra of mass globalization. Today, most things that are manufactured spend most of their lives in pre-sales storage, and then in landfill after they have been thrown away. And clearly this makes no sense either environmentally or economically. In contrast, future local digital manufacturing offers the hope of being able to make only those things that people actually want, and really close to where people actually want them. In time – and as I discuss in some detail in the book – we will I think therefore see the rise of many different LDM technologies. These will include 3D printing, but also things like synthetic biology and nanotechnology. 3D printing is an amazing development that is really going places. But is it also not the only rising technology that will drive the Next Industrial Revolution, and I think it is really important that everybody from educators to investors to business leaders learns to recognize this fact. Indeed, by the time that 3D printers are able to manufacture even 20 or 25 per cent of the products that clutter our lives, I believe they will have converged so significantly with other technologies that the term ‘3D printing’ will have disappeared from common use. And so by then I will need a different title for the tenth edition of my book!

 


 

Note to subscribers:  I thoroughly enjoyed the first book Chris authored on 3D printing and I highly recommend the second edition, available at Amazon.com.

Readers may also want to check out Christopher’s extensive repository of information on all things 3D printing on his web site.

You can follow Chris on twitter:  @ChrisBarnatt

 

Gary Anderson…..Follow me on Twitter: @3DPrintingStock


 

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Graphene 3D Lab logoIn a video released after the close of yesterday’s trading, Graphene 3D Lab Inc. (TSX-V: GGG, and OTCQB: GPHBF) 3D prints a working battery, demonstrating the company’s position as an early market leader with proprietary, patent-pending technology in graphene materials for 3D printing. 

 

Graphene 3D Lab CEO Daniel Stolyarov also noted in this press release:

“Our ability to create a 3D printable battery and other electrochemical devices will play a significant role in the growth of commercial applications of 3D printing technology.”


Graphene-enhanced filament sales to begin soon

In this very informative interview by 3DPrint.com last week, CEO, Daniel Stolyarov explains:

Our first product will be electrically conductive graphene enhanced filaments for FFF 3D printing. These filaments will allow users with multi-material 3D printers (printers with multiple print heads) to print conductive components in a one-step process; the capability to do so is an important step towards 3D-printable electronics.

We have already manufactured benchtop samples of graphene-enhanced 3D printing filaments with repeatable results. We are currently in the process of scaling up the manufacture of these materials. Our team is an estimated few months away from offering affordable graphene-enhanced 3D printing filaments to clients.

Our proprietary conductive materials will not be quite as inexpensive as standard PLA and ABS. However, very little graphene-enhanced material will be necessary in a given print, considering that it is used mostly for conductive circuitry. Thus, our conductive filaments will be quite affordable.”

Graphene 3D Lab will launch their web store “within weeks” and I suspect meaningful revenue will be realized by Q1 of next year.

The company’s graphene-enhanced filaments will be compatible with FFF (fused filament fabrication) 3D printers currently on the market. These printers comprise the vast majority of the consumer and prosumer 3D printer market globally, so demand could be strong coming out of the gate.


 

The “killer app” 3D printing requires to go mainstream?

Many have speculated that for 3D printers to become as commonplace as microwaves in our homes, there needs to be a “killer app” that will make everyone want one. When the properties of graphene are combined with the complete freedom of design and form that’s possible with 3D printing, you can see why I believe that this killer app may very well be something that includes graphene materials.

3D printing plastic chess pieces and action figures is one thing…but 3D printing an object that conducts electricity 30 times faster than silicon, that’s lightweight, extremely strong, transparent, and bendable?  This is the future of 3D printing, and it’s now on the horizon. 

 

Graphene 3D Lab graphene and 3D printing

 

I asked Christopher Barnatt, British futurist, scholar and author of “3D Printing: The Next Industrial Revolution” for his thoughts on graphene as a new material for 3D printing.  Chris replied:

3D printing revolution with graphene 3D lab-1“I am certain that, in the next few years, 3D printing will be driven forward as much by new material developments, as it will by improvements in hardware and new 3D printing processes. The creation of a plastic/graphene composite filament by Graphene 3D Lab is one example of cutting-edge work in this area. When it comes to making a really strong 3D printing materials, plastic/graphene composites may lead the pack. In addition to being strong, plastic/graphene composites will also be conductive, so opening up possibilities to create circuitry or sensors on 3D printed products at home.”


Why shares should continue to outperform

Shares in Graphene 3D Lab have outperformed SSYS, DDD, VJET, XONE, and all major market indexes since trading began on August 11 and I wrote that it was “The best 3D printing stock to buy now.”

Graphene 3D Lab vs. others chart


Graphene 3D Lab has now demonstrated the ability to 3D print working batteries and the company will almost certainly secure early mover advantages in the commercialization of graphene-enhanced materials for 3D printing.  As a result, I believe shares will continue to strongly outperform as more individual and institutional investors discover the company. With just over a 2 month trading history, Graphene 3D Lab is relatively unknown and is not covered by the mainstream financial press. That’s a very good thing for those reading this now as I believe the company will come out of relative obscurity as sales of graphene-enhanced filament materials begins.

In my view, Graphene 3D Lab is the most compelling 3D printing stock trading today.


Graphene 3D Lab Inc. gary siig

 

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Disclosure: I am long shares of Graphene 3D Lab. See additional disclosure in 8/11/14 article linked above. 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.

Arcam earnings

Arcam earnings exceptionally strong. CEO gives positive forward-looking statements for continued growth.

In their January-September report released this morning, Arcam AB (web site) reported earnings of .32/share  vs. .07/share for the year ago period (see currency conversion).

Q3  net income included a positive tax benefit of 23 MSEK (approximately 3.2M USD). When removing the tax benefit from Q3, Arcam earnings were 15.2 MSEK (or approximately 2.2 M USD in net income) vs. break even in Q3 of last year.

Magnus René, President & CEO of Arcam states:

“We are in rapid organic growth. We thus continue to recruit qualified employees in order to meet the expectations from our customers. During the period we have strengthened our service office in China and the support organization in Sweden. Through the acquisition of AP&C and DiSanto and through recruitment the number of employees has increased from 64 to 233 since September 2013. We will maintain an ambitious recruitment pace in order to further develop our technology and offering and thus exploiting the present business situation.

A strong order book and a positive business situation lay a solid foundation for a strong closing of 2014 and continued growth in 2015.”

Arcam trades under symbols ARCM.ST on the NASDAQ OMX in Stockholm, and AMAVF as an American Depository Receipt on the US OTC market.

 


 

Gary Anderson…..Follow me on Twitter: @3DPrintingStock


 

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Disclosure: I am long shares of ARCAM. 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.


Graphene 3D Lab

Investors in the United States can now buy shares of Graphene 3D Lab Inc. (web site) on the OTC market. The company’s shares are now registered in the U.S. and will begin trading today on the OTC QB exchange with ticker GPHBF.

The Letter of Introduction for Graphene 3D in accordance with the standards for trading on OTCQB has been made by Euro Pacific Capital, a qualified Principal American Liaison.

In the news release on U.S trading, CEO Daniel Stolyarov stated:

As a U.S. based company, trading on the OTCQB is a natural step in the growth of Graphene 3D. Graphene 3D is at a pivotal stage in its development, and with the assistance of Euro Pacific Capital we look forward to increasing awareness of the company to a broader U.S. shareholder base. We believe that Euro Pacific’s ability to broaden the company’s access to both current and prospective U.S. shareholders will be key to our continued growth. We also believe that all shareholders will benefit from Euro Pacific’s access to a larger number of retail and institutional investors.

Shares in Graphene 3D Lab have strongly outperformed all other 3D printing stocks since trading began on August 11 as this chart shows.

 

Graphene 3D Lab

 

I believe the positive performance of Graphene 3D Lab shares will continue. Revenue from their proprietary, patent-pending graphene-enhanced 3D printing material will begin “in 3-6 months” according to this news release last week, making Graphene 3D Lab a very early mover in the commercialization of graphene materials for 3D printing.

Read why I believe Graphene 3D Lab is the best 3D printing stock to buy now (8/11/14)

 

Gary Anderson…..Follow me on Twitter: @3DPrintingStock


 

Subscribe to 3DPrintingStocks.com for free (box in left upper corner of page) to get news, articles, interviews, and actionable information on 3D printing stocks delivered to your inbox.

 


 

Disclosure: I am long shares of Graphene 3D Lab. See additional disclosure in 8/11/14 article linked above. 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are my own and should not be considered investment advice nor an invitation to buy or sell shares of any company mentioned on this site. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult with a Registered Investment Advisor prior to making any investment decision. See sidebar for full disclaimer.