There’s been a ton of gloom and doom among 3D print stock brokers recently, but is this the opposite of what should happen?
Yes, the relatively few 3D printing stocks publicly traded have taken a terrible beating in the past few years. We all saw the huge buzz and consequent run-up of stock prices in the years 2013 and 2014, only to be vastly disappointed by losses as high as 80% of stock values in years afterwards.
It was caused by immense public interest in 3D printing technologies, which in turn were caused by certain individuals at certain companies promoting the idea of “a 3D printer in every home” or similar concepts.
These concepts turned out to be infeasible at this time due to limitations of hardware and software that prevented the average consumer from using 3D printing in any practical manner.
Once a sufficient number of people discovered this, the stock prices inevitably fell precipitously. Fortunes were made, fortunes were lost.
But all that, I believe, was merely a facade over what’s really happening.
3D printing, as a technology, has been around for about 30 years now. It started in industry - and continues in industry - through to today, in spite of the apparently temporary bloom of desktop 3D printing.
Today, if you look at industry, you’ll find many companies properly applying the unique technology of 3D printing to their businesses. In many cases, dramatic improvements are being made to costs, speeds and qualities. These are beginning to show up in the marketplace, albeit they’re often hidden behind the scenes: components of an airplane engine, for example, might be 3D printed, but you’d never know it.
So we find ourselves in a spot where 3D printing is generally thought of poorly by the majority of investors, yet it is slowly increasing in real value behind the scenes.
They say the best investment advice is to “Buy Low and Sell High”, which I often do the opposite, ahem. However, this just might be the time to buy 3D print stocks: when they are at their worst, just before the shine appears again.