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3D Systems CEO steps down; shares fall

(Corrects to Wednesday from Thursday in last paragraph)

Oct 29 (Reuters) - 3D printer maker 3D Systems Corp said on Thursday Avi Reichental, its chief executive of 12 years, has stepped down, sending its shares down 7 percent in premarket trading.

Reichental stepped down in a mutual agreement with the board and his resignation was effective Wednesday, the company said.

Chief Legal Officer Andrew Johnson will serve as interim CEO.

3D Systems, the poster boy of 3D printing, rose to a high of $97.25 in early 2014, when the technology was being touted as the next big thing, allowing people to print everything from cars to chocolates.

But the last two years have been tumultuous for the stock - it crashed about 88 percent as investors raised questions about the viability of consumer 3D printers.

The company claims it invented 3D printing with its "stereolithography" printer and was the first to commercialize it in 1989.

3D System's shares closed at $10.85 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)