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 33.4% over the past 12 months, as of March 8, 2021. All statistics in the tables below are as of March 8.

Here are the top three 3D printing stocks with the best value, fastest sales growth or least sales decline, 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 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) 21.85 1.4 2.3
3D Systems Corp. ( DDD) 22.87 2.8 4.8
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 122.27 3.4 7.6

Source: YCharts

  • Stratasys Ltd.: Stratasys manufactures 3D printers used in the process of designing and manufacturing various products. Its products and services are used in aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, consumer goods, education, dental, and other areas. For Q4 2020, Stratasys reported an 11.1% year-over-year (YOY) decline in net sales and net income of $10.7 million versus net loss of $2.9 million for Q4 2019. The company announced that it expects revenue, earnings, and cash flow to accelerate in 2021 as it makes key steps, including adding three new technology platforms.
  • 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. 3D Systems reported 2.7% YOY growth in revenue for Q4 2020 and a net loss of $19.8 million versus net loss of $4.7 million in Q4 2019. The company announced that its Healthcare and Industrial businesses were strong performers. On March 1, 3D Systems announced it would delay filing of its annual 10-K report for FY 2020, primarily due to reporting of to the presentation of cash flows associated with the divestiture of its Cimatron and GibbsCam software businesses. The company said the final audit has no impact on the operation of the company's business.
  • 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. In late January, Proto Labs completed the acquisition of online manufacturing platform 3D Hubs for $280 million in a cash and stock.

3D Printing Stocks with the Most Sales Growth or Least Sales Decline

These are the 3D printing stocks with the highest YOY sales growth or lowest sales decline for the most recent quarter. A company’s ability to maintain sales in a difficult business environment can be a sign of good management and/or a strong business model.

3D Printing Stocks with the Most Sales Growth or Least Sales Decline

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) Revenue Growth (%)
The ExOne Co. ( XONE) 27.33 0.6 59.9
3D Systems Corp. (DDD)  22.87 2.8 2.0
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 122.27 3.4 -6.0

Source: YCharts

  • The ExOne Co.: The ExOne Co. is a global provider of 3D printers and related products. The company primarily serves industrial customers. In recent weeks, ExOne has added multiple sales partners to increase its reach around the world. On February 22, the company announced that ABC Corp. was now an authorized channel partner to sell its products in South Korea. On March 8, the company announced that USC Solutions had become an authorized channel partner in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
  • Proto Labs Inc.: See above for company description.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: 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 (%)
Nano Dimension Ltd. ( NNDM) 7.95 2.0 526.0
The ExOne Co. (XONE) 27.33 0.6 371.2
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 22.87 2.8 169.1
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 33.4

Source: YCharts

  • Nano Dimension Ltd.: Nano Dimension is an Israel-based company that focuses on the research and development of 3D printed electronics for use an array of applications.
  • The ExOne Co.: See above for company description.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: See above for company description.

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