The 3D printing industry is made up of companies that provide products and services capable of manufacturing a range of products. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, creates physical objects from digital designs. The printing process works by laying down thin layers of material in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal or cement, and then fusing the layers together. While still too slow to be used in mass production, it is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to disrupt the manufacturing logistics and inventory management industries. The 3D printing industry is comprised of only a handful of companies, such as Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) and Faro Technologies Inc. (FARO).

The industry is so young that it has no meaningful benchmark index. But the performance of these stocks can be compared to the broader market as represented by the Russell 1000 Index. The 3 best performing 3D printing stocks have dramatically outperformed the Russell 1000, which has provided a total return of 38.3% over the past 12 months, as of June 3, 2021. All statistics in the tables below are as of June 3.

Here are the top three 3D printing stocks with the best value, fastest sales growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value 3D Printing Stocks

These are the 3D printing stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For companies in early stages of development or industries suffering from major shocks, this metric can be substituted as a rough measure of a business's value. A business with higher sales could eventually produce more profit when it achieves, or returns to, profitability. The price-to-sales ratio shows how much you're paying for the stock for each dollar of sales generated.

Best Value 3D Printing Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) 23.11 1.5 2.5
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 88.08 2.4 5.5
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 30.24 3.8 6.4

Source: YCharts

  • Stratasys Ltd.: Stratasys makes 3D printers used in the process of designing and manufacturing various products. Its products and services are used in industries including aerospace, automotive, and consumer electronics, as well as education and dentistry.
  • Proto Labs Inc.: Proto Labs provides rapid low-volume manufacturing of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. It offers 3D printing, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection molding services. The company announced in early May financial results for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), which ended March 31, 2021. Net income fell 73.5% even though revenue rose only 0.9% compared to the year-ago quarter. Costs and expenses rose at a faster pace than revenue, which weighed on net income.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: 3D Systems is a holding company that provides 3D printing solutions, including 3D printers, print materials, software, on-demand manufacturing services, and digital design tools. Its solutions are used in healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and other industries. The company announced in early June that it has agreed to sell its on-demand manufacturing business to Trilantic North America for $82 million. 3D Systems intends to invest the proceeds in its core additive manufacturing business.

Fastest Growing 3D Printing Stocks

These are the 3D printing stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) sales growth for the most recent quarter. Rising sales can help investors identify companies that are able to grow revenue organically or through other means, and find growing companies that have not yet reached profitability. In addition, earnings per share can be significantly influenced by accounting factors that may not reflect the overall strength of the business. However, sales growth can also be potentially misleading about the strength of a business, because growing sales on money-losing businesses can be harmful if the company has no plan to reach profitability.

Fastest Growing 3D Printing Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) Revenue Growth (%)
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NNDM) 7.27 1.9 15.5
3D Systems Corp. (DDD)  30.24 3.8 7.7
Materialise NV (MTLS) 27.23 1.5 7.6

Source: YCharts

  • Nano Dimension Ltd.: Nano Dimension is an Israel-based 3D printing company focused on developing 3D printed electronics. It develops printers for multilayer printed circuit boards and nanotechnology based inks. The company serves a range of markets, including consumer electronics, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and more. Nano Dimension announced in late April that it has signed and closed an agreement to acquire NanoFabrica Ltd. for between $54.9 million and $59.4 million. NanoFabrica provides technology and turn-key systems for precise 3D-micro-printing.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Materialise NV: Materialise is a Belgium-based rapid prototype designer and manufacturer. It develops products using 3D imaging software combined with plastic molding. The company offers solutions to the industrial, medical, aerospace, automotive, and dental industries.

3D Printing Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the 3D printing stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

3D Printing Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 30.24 3.8 272.4
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NNDM) 7.27 1.9 164.4
The ExOne Co. (XONE) 21.89 0.5 128.5
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 38.3

Source: YCharts

  • 3D Systems Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Nano Dimension Ltd.: See above for company description.
  • The ExOne Co.: ExOne is a global provider of 3D printing machines and printed products. The company manufactures 3D printing machines and printing products to specification for its customers. It also supplies associated materials, such as consumables and replacement parts, and other services. ExOne announced in mid-May financial results for Q1 FY 2021, which ended March 31, 2021. The company's net loss widened to $6.1 million from $3.6 million in the year-ago quarter as revenue fell 2.7%. ExOne said it saw signs of an economic rebound despite challenges in the current operating environment stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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