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3D Systems Taps Investment Casting Market With New Solutions

Zacks Equity Research
3D Systems' (DDD) presence in the 3D printing and foundry market is likely to get a boost from the newly launched ProJet MJP 2500 IC.

3D Systems DDD is continuing to expand its 3D printing capabilities to tap the investment casting market in the face of intense competition in the business across various industries.

3D Systems recently unveiled ProJet MJP 2500 IC, its new 3D printing solution ideal for customized metal bridge manufacturing and low volume productionof metal cast components.

The differentiating aspect of the new foundry printing solution is that it enables digital workflow with direct wax pattern printing, which increases productivity and significantly saves time and cost.

Per a cost comparison analysis by Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions, the cost of a pattern tool for a mechanical can reach $6,050 while a 3D printed pattern tool costs upto $25.

Efforts in 3D Printing

With the 3D printing industry booming, the company’s focus on this market presents a favorable long-term opportunity. The company is enabling 3D production through digital design and manufacturing workflows, technology advancements and materials innovation, and application engineering expertise.

As a matter of fact, majority of 3D Systems customers are shifting from prototyping to end use production, using 3D printing technology.The company believes that it is well positioned to aid customers in the transformation.

Earlier this year, the company unveiled four new materials optimized for producing precision metal parts. Also, it has begun bundling the innovative 3DXpert software with all direct metal printers. The company believes metal technology and Figure 4, combined with the advanced materials and software innovation such as 3D Sprint and 3DXpert, will eventually help customers shift from prototyping to production. This can unlock multiple profitable growth opportunities for it.

Moving ahead, 3D Systems believes that robust demand for production printers, materials and software will continue to act as major catalysts, supplementing growth. It launched 3DXpert software solution for direct metal 3D printing and made ground-breaking advancements inits Figure 4 technology.

These initiatives are a bold, definite step toward the company’s transition from prototyping to production. They will enable its additive manufacturing clients to leverage on its digital manufacturing solutions.

Prospects Look Bright

A recent report by Research and Markets indicates that the global investment casting market is projected towitness a CAGR of 4.32% during 2017-2021. Per Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions, the current valuation of the global investment casting market is nearly $14 billion.

Moreover, the 3D printing market presents a favorable long-term investment opportunity as a large number of professionals from various fields are resorting to 3D solutions for their primary designing and product modeling.

Per MarketsandMarkets, the worldwide 3D printing industry is expected to record a CAGR of 25.76% through 2017 to 2023 and reach $32.78 billion by the end of 2023.

As the industry leader in 3D printing, this is encouraging information for 3D Systems as it will be able to grab a large share of this market.

Competition Remains a Concern

3D printing is a highly competitive industry with its chief competitors being suppliers of CNC, dealers of plastics molding equipment, including injection-molding equipment, suppliers of traditional machining, milling and grinding equipment, and businesses that use such equipment to produce models, prototypes and molds.

Printing giant HP HPQ is forging ahead into the 3D printing market with new "Jet Fusion 3D printers" and looks wellpositioned to challenge 3D Systems' leadership.

3D Systems also faces significant competition from Stratasys SSYS, which recently announced that its 3D printers will be used by automotive giant Audi and voxeljet VJET, which recently launched new speciality materials for its High Speed Sintering line of 3D printers.

3D System’s long documented expertise in this field combined with constant improvement strategies and innovative product launches should help maintain its stronghold.

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