After a massive run up in the past few years, major 3D printing stocks have been struggling of late.
In the chart above you can see the performance of three major publicly traded 3D printing companies: 3D Systems, Stratasys and ExOne. It’s pretty clear they haven’t been doing well; investors who purchased any of them at the beginning of 2014 will have lost a significant percentage of their investment.
Why is this so? There are a myriad of reasons, but one, we believe, is that the public (or at least sophisticated investors who bother to investigate the technology more deeply) are beginning to realize that 3D printing is not a magic, Star-Trek-like mechanism. They’re finding, like all of us, that there are lots of limitations – and lots of opportunities. Many investors tend to be fickle, looking for more immediate opportunities to cash in, but it seems to us that there is a great deal more growth yet to occur over the long term.
In other words, if you’re investing in 3D printing stocks today, prepare for a rough ride. But if you can manage to wait through a couple of years we suspect many more applications, knowledge and capabilities will have been developed, leading to significantly increased growth.