I got a chuckle reading a post on Seeking Alpha proposing that Stratasys might be changing into a materials company.
At first glance you might think Stratasys – and indeed several other giant 3D printing companies – are producers of 3D printing equipment. Oh yeah, they might sell some materials for the machines, too.
Well, that’s just not it.
Stratasys has ALWAYS been a materials company! Anyone operating their machines knows that the price of their consumables is at premium levels, and that you will use lots of them.
Yes, it’s a trade-off: you pay a premium price for materials, but you are pretty much guaranteed excellent prints on all their equipment. For many Stratasys users, they find the material prices to be reasonable, as they’re able to still generate huge savings on their other operations by using the equipment and its materials, simply by avoiding even higher-priced manufacturing processes.
But back to the machine. Yes, you will pay for the machine, but that’s actually not the total cost of your 3D printing operation, as you must continually supply the machine with materials to operate. And the price of the machine is such that most businesses require them to operate almost continuously to make money.
Thus you are essentially buying a “materials subscription” when you buy one of these 3D printers. In fact, it may be that in some circumstances you’d find over the lifetime of the equipment you may have paid more for materials than the machine itself!
Every 3D printer sold by Stratasys is ALSO a guarantee of future materials sales. This is no different than multiple other industrial 3D printer manufacturers.
Is Stratasys a materials company? Of course they are!
Via Seeking Alpha