Thursday, November 08, 2012

Now You Can Print Your Own Real Plastic Gun

Depending on your opinion of guns, this could be good news or bad news. But it also shows how advanced 3D printers are. An organization called Defense Distributed is in the process of producing he Wiki Gun, a plastic gun that can be printed out in your own home with a 3D printer. And the gun can even shoot real bullets. Of course, 3D printers can be used to print more politically correct items such as houses.

3D printing companies are not widespread, but there are some, involved in both the software side and the hardware side of the business. According to, there are ten 3D printing stocks involved in 3D printing.

Looking at hardware, there is Stratasys, Inc. (SSYS), which produces three-dimensional printers, rapid prototyping systems, and related consumable materials. This Minnesota based company was founded in 1989. Although the latest quarterly earnings dropped by 11.5%, revenues increased 25.3%. This is a debt free company which has $51.8 million in cash. The stock trades at 76 times trailing earnings and 39 times forward earnings.

3D Systems Corporation (DDD), a Rock Hill, South Carolina based company, makes and sells 3D printers and related products, including the 3D @home experience and the Kinect-to-print app powered by Geomagic. 3D Systems was founded in 1986. The stock trades at 68 times current earnings and 30 times forward earnings. Earnings for the latest quarter spiked 87.2% on a 57.3% rise in sales. The company has $183.9 million in cash and approximately $131.2 million in debt.

Let's look at the software side of 3D printers, since software is required to run these printers. Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK) makes 3D software for many different industries, everything from entertainment to architecture to manufacturing. The stock trades at 25 times trailing earnings and a forward price to earnings ratio of 14. Earnings for the latest reported quarter were down 9.3% on a 4.1% increase in revenues. The company has no debt, and has $1.43 billion dollars in the bank, amounting to 6.31 per share in cash.

For a free list of the companies involved in 3D printing, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to

Disclosure: Author owns ADSK and DDD.


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