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 29.9% over the past 12 months. This market performance number and all statistics in the tables below are as of Sept. 2, 2021.

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) 22.12 1.4 2.3
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 75.06 2.1 4.5
Materialise NV (MTLS) 22.91 1.3 5.7

Source: YCharts

  • Stratasys Ltd.: Stratasys makes 3D printers for designing and manufacturing products. Its products and services are used in industries including aerospace, automotive, and consumer electronics, as well as education and dentistry. The company announced in early August financial results for Q2 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), the three-month period ended June 30, 2021. Stratasys' net loss narrowed to $20.2 million from $28.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Net sales rose 25.0% year over year (YOY).
  • Proto Labs Inc.: Proto Labs provides rapid low-volume manufacturing of custom parts. It offers 3D printing, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection molding services.
  • Materialise NV: Materialise is a Belgium-based rapid prototype designer and manufacturer. It provides a software solutions and 3D printing services to industries such as healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and dental industries.

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) 6.33 1.6 181.6
The ExOne Co. (XONE) 24.61 0.5 69.2
Materialise NV (MTLS) 22.91 1.3 45.6

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 markets including consumer electronics, healthcare, aerospace, and automotive. Nano Dimension announced in mid-August financial results for Q2 FY 2021, the three-month period ended June 30, 2021. The company's net loss widened to $13.6 million from $8.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 181.6% YOY. Despite strong revenue growth, the company's bottom line was squeezed by higher expenses related to research and development, sales and marketing, and other general and administrative costs.
  • 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. On Aug. 11, ExOne announced that it agreed to be acquired by 3D printing company Desktop Metal Inc. (DM) for $575 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021.
  • Materialise NV: See above for company description.

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) 31.85 4.0 494.2
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NNDM) 6.33 1.6 298.1
The ExOne Co. (XONE) 24.61 0.5 88.6
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 29.9

Source: YCharts

  • 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 late July that it has agreed to sell its medical simulation business, Simbionix, to Surgical Science Sweden AB (SUS) for $305 million. The sale marks the completion of 3D Systems' initiatives to divest non-core business operations in order to focus on its core additive manufacturing business.
  • Nano Dimension Ltd.: See above for company description.
  • The ExOne Co.: See above for company description.

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