3D Systems at Stephens Conference Notes

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Stacey Witten – Vice President, Investor Relations
Hugh Evans – VP of Ventures and Business Development

3D printing still in the plans for manufacturing companies

“As far as the industry and the opportunities, we believe nothing has changed there in the long-term outlook. We’ve seen a little bit of a pause in the beginning of this year. But we still have a lot of manufacturing companies, health care, automotive, aerospace, all communicating their plans to continue to use and expand what they’re doing with 3D printing.”

Printers have gotten faster and use more materials

“if you went back years maybe 5, 6 years, these tools would be perceived as slow with a limited range of materials, and the printers today are much, much faster. They are on Moore’s Law for speed, and the number of materials available to print into is over 300. It’s been a good news story on material science development, it’s been a good news story on the speeds of the printers. So those have been solved.”

Strong adoption where need high strength to weight ratio

“aerospace is rapidly adopting these tools to take weight out of aircraft. That logic stream holds across all of transportation, car companies, helicopters, boats. Anything that moves where strength to weight ratio is an important part of the calculus is a candidate.”

It’s not even the first inning yet for some of these things

” there are a couple of dozen aerospace parts that are slated for 3D printed to go on the aircraft out of 25,000 that are in each aircraft engine and GE has already said that they are going to be 3D printing thousands of parts. So within aerospace and by extension the other ones, it’s just like not even the first inning. It’s just the warm up phase of using these tools to do redesigns to print parts that are lighter and just as strong to go into aircraft engines.’

Some customers are just paused for a moment

“we’re talking to customers, we know what their plans are, some of them are at different stages of implementation and some of it as they just took – paused for a moment to take a look, but their plans haven’t really changed in the longer term.”

Manufacturers are focused on quality assurance and quality control

” I’m just telling you what we are told and what we are working on is the friction point. The friction points are QA/QC and supply chain reliability and certification of every piece that goes into it.

And when you’re producing stuff, they want this very significant SPC and QA/QC system that documents that these part number 1,233 is the same as part number two and the way you get there is what we’re proposing. That’s what I’m telling you is the gating factor is the – is not open versus closed. It’s QA/QC.”