Guns and Roses? Star Trek? The new paradigm of 3D Printing.

NBC News:3-D printing booms, triggers rush for patents August 15

You could lose your shirt on 3D printing stocks. Or you could just print yourself a new one!  The promise of 3D Printing has gotten everyone hyped up on the good, the bad and the ugly of this technological breakthrough.  Of course, the bad guys are going to make guns and weapons. The porn industry is going to make….well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. Your “creative” teen is going to prototype a new bong or a breakthrough science project that transforms medicine . Artists will make things unimagined with this new medium. The possibilities are endless.

So, of course, Mama had to investigate.  A few months ago, I googled around to find the top stocks in this new field and see how they were doing. I picked three to watch and  buy and then I kept two: Stratasys (SSYS) and Protolabs (PRLB). The third is  3D Systems (DDD). SSYS and DDD are pretty similar technologies but by seeing how they moved for a few weeks, I felt SSYS was the stronger pick.  Protolabs is a different prototyping technology that enables fast, focused manufacturing and has been steadily rising.

One of these stocks is surely going to become the Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) of the 3D printing world—i.e. the far and away leader and fast tracker of the lot. I can’t tell you which. (Note: I made a lot of money on ISRG in the early years by buying into their then new robotic surgery technology.  I still believe in them though they are no longer a meteoric newcomer but a solid business.)  3D printing is still so new and the companies are volatile trades but I think it’s worth dipping your toes in with a few shares just in case they suddenly shoot up. It’s nice to be riding a rocket ship stock and not watching from the sidelines saying “If only.”  And, who knows,  maybe  one of these companies will even be used to build a rocket ship to the future!

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