Top 3D Printing Stocks for Q1 2022

PRLB, DM, and DDD are top for value, growth, and momentum, respectively

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. Though still too slow for 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. 3D Systems Corp. (DDD), the best performing 3D printing stock, has dramatically outperformed the Russell 1000, which has provided a total return of 30.9% over the past 12 months. But other 3D printing stocks have underperformed by a significant margin. This market performance number and all statistics in the tables below are as of Jan. 3, 2022.

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
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 54.13 1.5 3.2
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 22.12 2.8 4.3
Materialise NV (MTLS) 24.49 1.4 5.9

Source: YCharts

  • 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.
  • 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. Healthcare and industrial customers use its solutions. On Nov. 15, 3D Systems announced several innovations aimed at boosting performance for customers, including new high-throughput 3D printing technologies, a new partnership to provide post-processing services, and improved 3D printing software.
  • Materialise NV: Materialise is a Belgium-based rapid prototype designer and manufacturer. It provides software solutions and 3D printing services to industries such as healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and dental industries. The company reported a net profit of $10.0 million for Q3 2021, ended Sept. 30, 2021, compared with a net loss for the prior-year quarter. Revenue climbed by 28.0% year-over-year (YOY) to a quarterly record, driven by solid operational performance in all three business segments.

Fastest-Growing 3D Printing Stocks

These are the 3D printing stocks with the highest 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, accounting factors that may not reflect the overall strength of the business can significantly influence earnings per share. 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 (%)
Desktop Metal Inc. (DM) 5.26 1.6 906.6
Nano Dimension Ltd. (NNDM) 4.06 1.0 205.9
Materialise NV (MTLS) 22.49 1.4 29.0

Source: YCharts

  • Desktop Metal Inc.: Desktop Metal manufactures 3D printers and related equipment used to build complex parts from metal. The company serves industries including aerospace, healthcare, consumer products, and heavy industry. On Nov. 15, Desktop Metal reported financial results for Q3 2021, ended Sept. 30. The company reported dramatically widening net losses YOY on more than 900% revenue growth. Desktop Metal attributed the revenue growth to the strength of its core metals business and contributions from recent acquisitions.
  • 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.
  • 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 past 12 months.

3D Printing Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 22.12 2.8 111.1
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) 25.08 1.6 21.0
Materialise NV (MTLS) 24.49 1.4 -54.8
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 30.9

Source: YCharts

  • 3D Systems Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Stratasys Ltd.: Stratasys makes 3D printers for designing and manufacturing products. Its products and services serve industries including aerospace, automotive, and consumer electronics, as well as education and dentistry. On Dec. 20, 2021, Stratasys announced the appointment of Eitan Zamir as chief financial officer. Previously vice president of finance, Zamir will succeed Lilach Payorski, who will step down from the CFO role at the end of February 2022.
  • Materialise NV: See above for company description.

The comments, opinions, and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. Though we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described in our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. YCharts. "Financial Data." Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.

  2. 3D Systems Inc. "3D Systems Advances Production Applications with New Additive Manufacturing Solutions." Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.

  3. Materialise NV. "Materialise Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results." Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.

  4. Desktop Metal Inc. "Desktop Metal Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results." Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.

  5. Stratasys Ltd. "Stratasys Announces Promotion of Eitan Zamir to Chief Financial Officer." Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.