The voxeljet (VJET) IPO Primer: The Company With a Little “v” Could Make a Big Splash

UPDATE: 10/16/2013: Final pricing to be determined Thursday 10/17 and trading to begin Friday 10/18.

The voxeljet (VJET) 3D Printing IPO

UPDATE: 10/17/2013: 3DPrintingStocks.com subscribers were the first to know the voxeljet $13/share IPO pricing moments after it was released at 10:15 PM.

The voxeljet (VJET) 3D Printing IPO

UPDATE: 10/18/2013: voxeljet makes a big splash as predicted on the first day of trading, closing up 122% on volume of 12.3 million shares.

The voxeljet (VJET) 3D Printing IPO

UPDATE: 12/5/2013: Interview with Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO of voxeljet AG

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Original Article from 10/1/2013

The voxeljet (VJET) 3D Printing IPO

There are two things you need to know up front about the voxeljet (VJET) IPO: The first is that the company is voxeljet AG, with a small letter “v”. The second is that the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange will probably be big.

This article will look at why I believe the voxeljet IPO will be successful, provide a brief history and overview of the company, their technology and patents, products and services, and some key financials from the recent F-1 filing, including management’s discussion. I’ll conclude by listing several key competitive advantages that I see in the company as an investor.

Pricing of the IPO with lead underwriters Piper Jaffray and Citigroup has not been set at this time and will depend in part upon the level of interest from institutional and accredited investors.

I believe that level of interest will be high for three reasons: Advances in 3D printing technologies, projected 3D printing industry growth, and the market niche voxeljet occupies within the industry.

Advances in 3D Printing

Although 3D printing (also called “Additive Manufacturing”) has been around for 20 years or so in various forms, advances in technology and the addition of new materials have brought the industry to an inflection point. 3D printing is now moving from prototyping to larger scale manufacturing that provides savings in both time and cost. With new technologies available, NASA is now 3D printing rocket injectors for less than half the previous cost and cut production times from 6 months to 3 weeks. This type of industry progression is being seen across the globe in 3D printing, and is one reason why I’m expecting a robust subscription in the IPO.

Strong Industry Growth

While it is true there’s been some media hype about 3D printing, industry experts who’ve been around additive manufacturing for years are bullish on forward growth. Estimates for a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) in 3D printing between 25-30% for the next 5 years are common by industry experts, analysts, and insiders. Terry Wohlers, a leading industry consultant, speaker, and publisher of Wholers Report 2013 notes that the market for 3D printing in 2012, consisting of all products and services worldwide, grew at a CAGR of 28.6% to $2.2 billion, is expected to hit $4 billion in 2015 and approach $6 billion by 2017.

The voxeljet Niche

voxeljet printer systems and services are aimed squarely at commercial applications in the automotive, architecture, aerospace, medical/orthopedic, engineering, and defense industries. These industries are expected to benefit the most from 3D printing, thereby creating increasing demand going forward. In an interview I conducted with Terry Wohlers for Engineering.com, he explained that the vast majority of revenue from products and services will continue to come from industrial systems. Revenues from personal 3D printer sales in 2012 were only 6.5% of the total market for additive manufacturing/3D printing systems. While the personal 3D printer market has grown very quickly in the past five years, it’s still small compared to the industrial systems.

Now let’s take a look under the hood of voxeljet with a brief company overview, the company’s technology and patents, products and services, and key financials from their recent F-1 filing.

voxeljet IPO 3DPrintingStocksvoxeljet Overview

voxeljet began in 1999 under the name Genesis GmbH. In 2004 the name was changed to “Voxeljet Technology GmbH” (with a large V at the time) and ultimately became “voxeljet AG” this year. “AG” is the abbreviation for Aktiengesellschaft, which is German for a corporation owned by shareholders and can trade a stock market.

voxeljet’s principal offices are located in Friedberg, Germany, about 60 km NW of Munich. The company sold their first 3D printer in 2002, has installed 52 printers worldwide as of June 30 of this year and received some fame in 2012 for fabricating stunt-double Aston Martin cars used in the James Bond action flick “Skyfall.”

The company’s production facilities now stand at 16,000 square feet and are undergoing expansion to over 40,000 square feet. Proceeds from the IPO are for the establishment of new service centers in North America and Asia, research and development, sales and marketing initiatives, and “general corporate purposes including potential acquisitions”.

Approximately 53% of sales to date have been outside of Germany and major customers include Ford Motor Company, The 3M Company, Daimler AG, BMW, and Hyundai. 3D Systems Corporation (DDD) has also been a distributor of voxeljet printers since 2011.

voxeljet is much smaller in terms of revenue generation than other 3D printing companies:

Company Stratasys 3D Systems ExOne Arcam AB voxeljet AG
2012 Revenue $359.0 million $ 353.6 million $28.7 million $21.6 million $11.3 million

Technology and Patents

voxeljet utilizes powder binding technology whereby a glue or ‘binder’ is jetted from an inkjet style print head to stick together successive powder layers. Powder binding typically has faster build speeds and lower materials costs relative to other technologies currently available in 3D printing. The company is currently developing new material sets including ceramics, silicon carbide, and tungsten carbide. The addition of ceramics in particular is noteworthy, as this is material is now being used in the burgeoning medical implant/orthopedic market for 3D printing.

voxeljet’s patent portfolio consists of over 170 U.S. and international patents and patent applications.

The company launched an innovative, new printer this year called the VXC800. Billed as “The world’s first continuous 3D printer” this system utilizes patented technology consisting of a horizontal conveyor belt that controls the layer building. Layers are built at the entrance of the conveyor while the unpacking takes place at the exit. As a result there are virtually no restrictions on build length. This new patented technology should create a strong competitive advantage for voxeljet.

The (really cool) video below shows the VXC800 printer in action.