3D Systems at Stephens Conference Notes

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.”

3D Systems Analyst Day Notes

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“3D Printing, I believe is poised to change everything how we create, what we make and where we manufacture, we invented it, Chuck Hull invented it. We advanced it over the past couple of decades and we are democratizing it and here in now. We believe that our innovative business model combined with our focused and balanced growth initiative executed by our experienced management team positions us for significant value creation potential.”

“over the past several years we brought the cost of our 3D printers down to $1300 with the Cube”

“we don’t stop at the device, the device is only precursor to the incredible portfolio of materials that we have. In fact, our extensive portfolio represents some 100 proprietary print materials including some of the best performing thermoplastics, digital and metal materials, as well as special surface biocompatible material, conformal structures, and leading castable materials that enable high value foundry investment casting in a way that nobody else can do today covering the broadest brands of design models, functional prototypes, and end parts…we are the only provider of full color printing with up to 1 million color combinations in single print. These materials constitute the consumable in our razors and blade model and provide very attractive contribution margins.”

“We developed and deliver the broadest range of 3D printers from $1,300 home printers to $950,000 professional printers expanding our use of cases substantially. Customer needs and budgets vary greatly and part of our strategy is to democratize success at all price and performance points. We believe that we must continue to deliver to our customers’ best-in-class printers and solutions to address all their design to manufacturing needs.”

“what sets our growth plan apart is our pursuit of two parallel growth paths concurrently. We believe that the near-term growth opportunity is with advanced manufacturing pushing further into the manufacturing floor. Today approximately half of our professional grade printers are placed into a direct and indirect manufacturing environment. And we expect significant upside as major corporations are announcing multi-year additive manufacturing initiatives. And although consumers not yet a meaningful part of our business today, we believe that there is significant upside potential.”

“We are also excited by another company that is making a great deal of commitment to additive and advanced manufacturing which is General Electric that is committing over $3 billion over the next few years to advancing its own integration and harnessing of advanced manufacturing”

“So, you have the turbine blade and where the hosts go, what the coding is that might be the difference in one or two points of fuel burn and the way the jet engine works and that’s billions of dollars for our customers in terms of performance. Now, today is kind of subtracted right you get a block of something and you weld that and you arcade and you take the scrap and it goes some place and that’s how you make those parts today. And 3D printing allows you to make that product weight the first hundred. Allows you to make it form the core up, so you basically don’t have as much waste, the tool is cheaper, the cycle time is faster and that is the holy grail.

And that is the holy grail for companies like GE, because it’s all about the maps manufacturing of complex powers and for learning from customers like this where we, for many years, thought that advanced manufacturing will apply to mass customization only. We are beginning to learn now that is applies very well to mass production of the complex parts which we now call mass complexity. And the same story repeats for automotive where we see increasingly the importance of fuel efficiency we see increasingly the importance of flexible manufacturing and bridge manufacturing and we are evidencing a steady stream of migration of this technology from advanced prototyping and tooling to actual everyday manufacturing operations.”

“And of course the fastest growing segments and the one that is eloquently described as well is the patient-specific medical device where you can see ample examples of customers that already manufacturing millions of patient specific medical devices in the world over from and your hearing aids that are dominated today by 3D Printing manufacturing to dental restorations which is a fast growing area for us and to patient specific implants”

“Materials that can be processed through these advance manufacturing systems include stainless steel, tool steel, super alloys, non-ferrous alloys, precious metals and alumina for a variety of aerospace, automotive and patient specific medical device applications…And non-ferrous metals include aluminum and titanium, precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum and exotic or rare metals such as cobalt, mercury, tungsten can also be processed.”

“Align Technologies the maker of the Invisalign clear braces that just last year printed over 17 million unique and distinct molds for the manufacturing of their clear aligners…I just wanted to underscore that this movement of manufacturing over the future is economical, it’s scalable, it’s profitable and it’s happening already in the year now.”