Is 3D Printing the Next Big Thing?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Squilly, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #1
    I'm just starting to do a little research into 3D printing companies, specifically to invest in. More specifically, 3D Systems and Stratasys. As companies and as a niche, what do you members think of it?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #2
    3D printing has been around a long time, actually. What you're probably thinking of is plastic injection molding. It's got a future, but the real revolution will come from nanoscale manufacturing. Essentially, printing and assembling things from the molecular level.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

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  4. macrumors demi-god

    needfx

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    #4
    interesting topic. subscribing
     
  5. Aeolius, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Oddly enough the Cube, a 3D printer that seems quite "Mac-like", does not yet support the Mac platform, with its software offerings.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #6
    Plastic injection molding has been around since the 40's, 3d Printing since the 80's..

    3d printers are just now becoming mainstream.

    @OP yes, it's going to be the next big thing for geeks along with the software create the object.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

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    #7
    Yeah, because we all have a dream about living in houses made of plastic? :rolleyes: Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of being able to make my own stuff, but why out of all things plastic? I mean most of us here are attracted to our Macs these days because they're not made of the stuff that everyone else tends to use - plastic. And the same thing with phones.

    This, at this point, is only a race to the bottom. That Cube printer is proof of that. The only thing that will happen is that people will buy this junk, struggle to make it work correctly, and there goes a $2,000 investment. The ones who do make it work, will only flood Etsy/Kickstarter with their creations, and bring outrageous pricing to something that can easy be imported from China for less than $1.

    And yes, people will also use this technology to make replicas of popular fashions and toys. And there will be horrible showcase videos of stuff people make, and they'll be saying how "beautiful" and "elegant" their molded plastic is. :rolleyes:

    It's good for research, yeah, but it's going to quickly turn into what the self-published space is right now when it comes to the average person being able to use these machines. A few will do well with it, a couple will be professionals, most will do it just because they can make money.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #8
    Well yeah, I guess I could have been more specific and mentioned home use. But the method of 3d printing that's popping up at a more affordable level is still plastic injection molding, it's just called 3d printing.

    Either way, I don't really see a future in plastic molding for home use. It's a novelty, not a new break through industry.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #9

    They don't all use plastic anymore..

    Some use SLM (Selective Laser Melting) just not for the home yet.

    ----------

    No it's not..there needs to be a mold for plastic injection molding...

    There is no mold on printers
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #10
    This is why I'm so tempted to invest:
    http://i.imgur.com/JQMO09W.png
    Analysts are saying "buy" too, but also saying its risky... Which is really what you guys said.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #11
    I think you already missed the boat on that one..but that's just me
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #12
  13. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #13
    Ok one has a mold, the other doesn't need a mold.

    It's still the same thing

    ----------

    Want a good investment?

    Here ya go

    unless you're still trying to get rich quick or something. In that case just pick whatever has the coolest stock ticker, it's all gambling anyway so it won't really matter how you lose your money or how low your return is
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #14
    Kroger
    ZAGG
    DDD
    ?
     
  15. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #15
    No there not...

    Not even close
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #16
    Ok.

    What's this huge crazy difference?
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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  18. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #18
    How do you pick these stocks?
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #19
    Dividend, quality, ability to expand, Zagg is still small, same with DDD, and Kroger is about to buy Acme.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #20
    no mold, no hot plastic, doesn't even need to be plastic for 3d printing..not the same
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #21
    what home 3d printers are you referring to?

    and just because the plastic is or isn't hot isn't even really a difference. I'm talking about the concept, making things out of plastic from a machine in an automated fashion.

    the only actual difference that matters here is scale, and of course industrial printers are far more capabled
     
  22. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #22
    Move goal posts much..

    You said plastic injection molding, not creating crap out of plastic at home.

    How about for 3d printing, the material doesn't need to be plastic.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    eric/

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    #23
    Well, according to those tickers the only one wiht a dividend is Kroger.

    Quality and ability to expand? How do you know that these companies are high quality with an ability to expand?

    Wanna know how and why I suggested Ford?

    Every day when I'm driving around I see new Ford cars. Brand new Ford cars. And they look good. When I watch TV, there are solid Ford commercials on, touting the F-150, Ecoboost, and how it's the #1 selling vehicle in America.

    Ford was recently ranked #1 for customer loyalty, ahead of Toyota and Honda even.

    Because of that (before the loyalty stuff), I bought Ford stock at ~ $9.00 per share. It's up to $14.00.

    When I ask you what makes you pick these stocks, your answers are solely based on numbers, and in my opinion that's a terrible way to pick stocks. Numbers don't tell the whole story, far from it. Do you see the difference in our picks?

    Now obviously I'm no stock broker or anything like that, but I'm just trying to highlight the difference in how we both approach this to give you better insight and hopefully more information when it comes to picking stocks or funds.

    First, you need to recognize that picking stocks like this is literally gambling. You're not a stock broker, and the vast majority of them fail to hit good returns over the long haul. Investment companies couldn't care less how well the market does, because they make their money off fees and services, and if the stock market does well, they make even more money off your money. The entire industry, all this analysis is built upon that. You're investing money on the hope, that some of these companies hit it big and that you get a huge payout. But be weary my friend, because even if that happens, in the long run the liklihood of you continuing to pick lottery stocks is very small, and in the end just like everybody else you'll not beat the market. You should REALLY think about some of these stock picks before you buy into them.

    That's my 2 c. Hope I'm not coming across as rude, because that's not my intention. I've just seen too many people fall into this trap and lose money over it.

    ----------

    I was under the impression we were talking about 3d printers, and printing, such as the one picture posted here.

    Yeah the material doesn't need to be plastic, but pretty much all of these machines make things out of plastic.
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #24
    Thanks for the advice. I don't just look at numbers. I look at their headlines and news, and analyst predictions. When I looked at Ford an hour ago, they were at $14. Analysts said they wouldn't go over $11, granted this was 6 months ago. Look at ZAGG. They're the equivalent of Ford in the technology niche. #1 accessory company worldwide. Doesn't that say something?
    DDD - they're going to be huge in a couple of years. I don't want to miss out on them once they turn into Apple (bad analogy, Apple is down $60). Kroger owns the third largest jeweler in the nation, turkey hill, and Kroger markets. They've been expanding for the last six months.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    ejb190

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    #25
    My parents own an outdoor equipment shop. On their shelves are all kinds of parts. A lot of these parts are plastic. When the manufacturer makes these parts, they produce 10k, 100k, a million of a specific part, use a bunch of them to manufacture the whole good and put the rest in a warehouse somewhere to be available when someone needs a spare. We order it and it shows up a few days later. When the spares run out, the manufacturer may or may not produce a new run depending on demand.

    If we tried to stock, let's say an engine cover for a chain saw. We have carried 50+ different models of saw over the years. That would be a lot of inventory that wouldn't move very fast. But when you need one, you need it.

    Now, let's put a 3D printer in our shop. We can now produce that exact same part in the shop. No warehousing. No shipping. No ordering. The manufacturer makes a revision to the part (which happens frequently). No problem. There is no pile of obsolete parts laying around. All they do is update the computer file and the next one off the printer is updated.

    Yah, I'm kind of excited about where this technology is heading. And if you are looking at investing, The Motley Fool been talking about 3D printing for the last two years.
     

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