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Are you invested in 4D printing?

Companies / 3d Printing Apr 27, 2023 - 09:16 PM GMT

By: Stephen_McBride


What happened to 3D printing stocks?... This major upgrade breathes new life into 3D printing… “Smart materials” could unlock 4D printing… Plus, an easy way to profit from this megatrend…

  1. Is 3D printing dead?

A decade ago, “3D printing” was the hottest buzzword on the planet. Investors piled in… and 3D-printing stocks took off like a rocket.

3D Systems (DDD)—a leading 3D-printing company at the time—soared 1,000% between late 2011 and early 2014.

Stratasys (SSYS)—another poster child of the 3D-printing boom—jumped nearly 7X during the same period.

Back then, people thought 3D printing would democratize manufacturing… and that we'd all have 3D printers inside our homes.

That never came true. And when the industry failed to live up to expectations, the 3D-printing bubble popped…

3D Systems plummeted 93% between January 2014 and January 2016. Stratasys plunged 89% during the same period.

What if I told you 3D printing wasn’t a flop… the hype was simply a decade too early.

Today, 3D printing is disrupting industries left and right… giving investors a second chance to profit from companies fueling the boom.
  1. 3D printing has gotten a MAJOR upgrade…

If you’re not familiar with how this tech works, 3D printers allow you to “print” objects similarly to how an inkjet prints on paper.

Starting from scratch, a 3D printer builds objects layer by layer... stacking thin slices of materials (like plastics and metals) from the bottom up.

Early 3D-printing technologies worked great for things like modeling and prototyping. Industries from architecture to aerospace used these machines to quickly go from drawing board to prototype on the cheap.

For example, back in 2011, motorcycle maker Ducati cut 20 months (or 70%) off the development time of a new racing engine thanks to 3D-printing prototyping.

But these early models had their limitations…

Most early 3D printers were built to print with plastic. Great for prototypes... but you can’t make airplane wings, most car parts, or thousands of other “high-value” items with plastic.

Fast-forward to present day, and modern 3D-printing technologies have unlocked the use of metals and concrete.

Boeing (BA)—one of the two biggest plane makers in the world—now 3D prints thousands of titanium parts for its 787 Dreamliner. It’s shaved $3 million off the cost of each plane thanks to this technology.

Rolls-Royce (RYCEY)’s upcoming 3D-printed UltraFan jet engine will use 25% less fuel than its predecessor.

And just a couple of weeks ago, a 34-meter-tall rocket launched at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Eighty-five percent of the rocket was 3D-printed.

  1. “Super-sized” 3D printers can even create full-sized houses in a matter of days…

Here’s one stacking concrete:

This is disrupting traditional construction in a huge way...

3D printing combines several trades into one, requiring fewer construction workers. It also saves time. With 3D printing, houses can be built in a day or two instead of taking weeks or months.

This cuts construction costs by around 50%.

These new 3D printers are also inspiring new designs. For example, it’s difficult and expensive to build curved walls with standard construction. With 3D printing, it’s a breeze.

  1. New kinds of materials could unlock 4D printing…

Have you heard of smart materials?

These special materials can bend, fold, expand, or change shape when exposed to different elements. You can “program” them to react to touch, light, temperature, electricity, different chemicals, and so on.

4D printing could use smart materials to bring daily objects “to life.”

For example, you could print a power cord that neatly folds into a tiny roll when unplugged and then loosens up again once electricity flows through it… a sun umbrella that perfectly tracks the sun’s direction… or even furniture that assembles itself.

4D printing also has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. Doctors could implant small medical devices that mold themselves into a desired shape when they reach a certain part of your body.

The possibilities are nearly limitless.

  1. Here’s how we’ll make money from this disruption…

Right now, 3D-printing stocks are on sale. And their businesses are doing great...

Autodesk (ADSK), for example, makes 3D design software. It’s a stock I recommended back in 2018—and it went on to gain 145%. In its latest quarterly result, the company reported a record $5 billion in sales.

And it’s not alone…

3D printing companies Desktop Metal (DM)Ansys (ANSS), and Nano Dimension (NNDM) also reported record sales in their latest earnings results.

A simple, one-click way to buy each of these companies—and other 3D-printing stocks—is through the 3D Printing ETF (PRNT).

PRNT currently trades 56% from its all-time highs, giving you a second chance to profit from “phase two” of the 3D-printing megatrend.

Stephen McBride
Chief Analyst, RiskHedge

To get more ideas like this sent straight to your inbox every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, make sure to sign up for The RiskHedge Report, a free investment letter focused on profiting from disruption.

Expect smart insights and analysis on the latest breakthrough technologies, the big stories the mainstream media isn't reporting on, and much more... including actionable recommendations.

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By Stephen McBride

© 2023 Copyright Stephen McBride - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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