DDD and SSYS are leading 3D printing stocks, with both picks outperforming the S&P 500 so far in 2013. Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired, recently called the 3D printing trend “bigger than the Web” – and SSYS and DDD are on top of the industry.
The new Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner from Stratasys subsidiary MakerBot makes it easy for non-programmers to create and edit their own 3D blueprints, and to 3D-print them or upload to Thingiverse, Makerbot’s platform for sharing and downloading 3D designs. Do you see the Apple (AAPL) iTunes Store-like potential here?
Watching Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis explain the new product, it’s impossible to ignore his giddy excitement.
“You put something on the turntable here, and it turns. Lasers shoot at it, and your physical model turns into a digital design.”
Seriously. Lasers shoot at it.
SSYS seems to have first-mover advantage over competitor DDD, which does not yet offer a desktop 3D scanner. And with Thingiverse, SSYS has a ready-made social aspect that DDD lacks. Both aspects provide a framework for a Makerbot ecosystem of 3D printing products that are easy to use and easy to share.
Sure, the first tinkerers with the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner will probably just experiment with cute little figurines and things they have around the house.
But with innovative new applications for 3D printed objects — like Blizzident, the custom mold that brushes and flosses your teeth in just six seconds, or an entire building in the form of a Möbius strip — coming to market, it’s only a matter of time before truly amazing uses for 3D printing become accessible to home users.
The Makerbot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner retails for $1,400.
As of this writing, Carla Lake did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.