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August 7, 2015

3D printer adoption lagging as companies avoid “looking silly”

Consumers’ hopes for improved 3D printers in the future are holding the 3D printer market back.

By Joao Lima

Companies manufacturing 3D printing machines have reported net losses and Q2 results that fell short of market expectations.

3D printer maker 3D Systems (3DS) yesterday reported a net of $13.7 million last quarter, compared to $2.1 million profit made in Q2 2014.

The company reported revenues of $170.5 million, an increase of 13% over the comparable quarter in 2014, or a 22% increase on a constant currency basis. It also posted a GAAP loss of $0.12 per share and non-GAAP earnings of $0.03 per share.

The firm’s results come in accordance to rival Stratasys who also reported net losses in Q2. Its GAAP net loss for Q2 was $22.9 million, or ($0.55) per diluted share, compared to GAAP net loss of $173,000, or ($0.00) per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Non-GAAP net income for the second quarter was $8 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $28.0 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, reported for the same period last year.

Stratasys posted revenues of $182.3 million, compared to $178.5 million in Q2 2014, with gross profit down from $91.6 million in Q2 2014 to $82.9 million last quarter.

The results were posted following Wohlers 2015 Report which found the 3D printing market to have grown 35.2% CAGR to $4.1 billion in 2014.

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Terry Wohlers, a 3D printer market consultant in Fort Collins, Colo, told the WSJ: "We felt all along there isn’t much of a consumer market for these machines.

"They’re not easy to use. A lot of them in homes are sitting there collecting dust."

Brian Drab, an analyst for William Blair & Co also told the paper that companies would "look silly" if they make a capital investment in a printer that runs at 5% of the speed that’s coming onto the market.

Avi Reichental, CEO at 3DS, said: "We are disappointed with our overall results. While a period of high growth enabled us to acquire strategic assets and build critical expertise, our rapid expansion permitted certain operating inefficiencies that we are currently addressing."

He told analysts last week that the "industry is now transforming through a period of slower growth as users digest recent investments in 3-D printing".

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