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China Wants To Put 3D Printers In Every Elementary School By Next Year

Jayson Derrick

3D technology continues to gain momentum across the globe due to the economic and educational benefits the can be derived from the new technology.

China appears to be fully embracing the educational benefits of 3D printers as 3dprint.com noted that the Chinese government has a new policy to install a 3D printer in each of its nearly 400,000 elementary schools over the next two years.

The logic behind such a move is obvious. Kids who were exposed to desktop computing back in the 1980s and 1990s have developed a master of the technology after a full cycle of education. The Chinese government may be thinking that its children of today will leave school with expert knowledge of 3D printers that can be used in the workforce in their later years.

The 3D printing market is certainly exploding, according to Gartner Research which estimated 217,000 3D printers will be shipped in 2015, only to double to 434,000 machines in 2016.

Despite the bullish growth forecast for the industry, shares of many 3D printer manufacturers have fallen over the past year.

Shares of 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD) have lost more than 38 percent over the past year and are more than 50 percent off its 52-week highs of $69.56. Meanwhile, shares of Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) shares lost nearly 40 percent of its share price versus a year ago. Smaller firms (based on market cap) such as ExOne Co (NASDAQ: XONE) haven't fared any better, with shares trading lower by more than 40 percent year-over-year.

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