The Top 10 Industrial 3D Printer Companies 2018

industrial 3d printer

Media headlines concerning 3D printing are usually reserved for breakthroughs in 3D Bioprinting, or a revolutionary DIY 3D printer kit which you can make for pennies. As a result, many of the 3D printing giants who create industrial 3D printer systems that revolutionize manufacturing aren’t given the mainstream credit they deserve. Consumers champion consumer brands like Makerbot and Ultimaker, whilst industrial manufacturers struggle for media attention.

Therefore, here’s an ode to the unsung heroes of 3D printing; the industrial 3D printer companies quietly changing the world. Some of these companies are household names, some not so known. Nevertheless, they are crucially important to the past, and the future of the industry.

Industrial 3D Printer Companies

1 – 3D Systems – Market Cap $1.5bn

The original 3D printing company; 3D Systems was founded by Chuck Hull to commercialize stereolithography all the way back in 1986, two years after he invented the process. Since their first industrial 3D printer, the SLA-1, 3D Systems has grown exponentially to do revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. What’s more, the SLA-1 SLA 3D printer has since been declared engineering landmark by ASME, further depicting the influence they had on the industry.

Despite the multitude of new companies who have entered the market to compete, 3D Systems remain an effective competitor. A clever strategy mixing innovation with high-profile acquisitions has set them up nicely, and the company is now worth over a billion dollars. The most important acquisitions include DTM in 2001 (who held the patents to Selective Laser Sintering), Z Corp in 2011, Phenix Systems in 2013, Simbionix in 2014, and LayerWise also in 2014. With SLA and SLS 3D printer options as well as metal 3D printers and Multi Jet machines, 3D Systems have a strong hold on the industrial 3D printer metal market.

A rarity for the 3D printing industry, 3D Systems also produce a 3D scanner range. These include their Sense 3D scanners, which retail for around $500.

industrial 3d printer 3d systems
3D Systems sell a vast array of industrial 3D printer systems.

2 – Stratasys – Market Cap $1.19bn

Formed slightly later than 3D Systems by Scott Crump to commercialize Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, Stratasys is another 3D printing giant still competing almost 30 years on. Since releasing their first FDM 3D printer, the 3D Modeler, in 1992, Stratasys have expanded into PolyJet and Lost Wax Casting printing.

Though an industrial 3D printer manufacturer, Stratasys also own desktop 3D printer company Makerbot. Stratasys bought the company, which blew up after creating the first good DIY 3D printer kit in 2009, for $403M in stock. They also merged with Objet Geometries in 2012 to implement their PolyJet 3D printers into the Stratasys 3D printer range. They also purchased 3D printed jewelry manufacturer SolidScape in 2011, for $38M in cash.

industrial 3d printer stratasys
Stratasys, along with 3D Systems, are the two industrial 3D printer behemoths who have been around since the late 1980s.

3 – Desktop Metal – Market Cap $1.2bn

  • Founded: 2015.
  • Company based: USA.
  • Main 3D printing technology: Bound Metal Deposition.

Despite only being formed in the last four years, Desktop Metal is one to watch very closely in the future. With an insatiable appetite for expansion and metal 3D printing efficiency, Desktop Metal’s Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) technology promises to make Metal 3D printing more affordable than ever before. Co-founded by a group of talented MIT researchers and venture capitalists including CEO Ric Fulop, the company now employs over 160 full-time staff.

The impact that Desktop Metal has made in the industrial 3D printer industry and in the metal 3D printer space cannot be underestimated. Many investors agree, with the likes of Google, BMW, GE, Stratasys, and more clamoring to get in on part of the action. So much so in fact, that Desktop Metal have received over $200M in investment, giving them a valuation of over $1.7bn! Currently, Desktop Metal sell two metal industrial 3D printer systems, the Studio System retailing at $120,000, and the Production System which sells at $420,000.

industrial 3d printer desktop metal
Desktop Metal have promised to revolutionize the metal 3D printer industry in the next few years.

4 – EOS – Market Cap ~$1bn

Another company that has been around since almost the beginning, powerhouse EOS is a striking example of Germany’s extraordinary engineering capabilities. Founded by Dr Hans Langer in 1989, EOS experienced significant success through the 1990s by selling some of their early SLS 3D printers to companies including BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Originally an industrial 3D printer manufacturer in the Selective Laser Sintering market, EOS went on to pioneer DMLS 3D printing. Their first DMLS 3D printer, the EOSINT M 250, was released in 1995 following extensive R&D throughout 1994. For the next 20 years, EOS would control the DMLS industry, until recently where rival companies such as SLM Solutions, Xact Metal and 3D Systems would create competing printers. EOS are integral to the history of industrial 3D printer systems, and are responsible for much of the innovation in metal 3D printers.

Industrial 3d printer EOS
German industrial 3D printer manufacturer EOS are primarily known for pioneering DMLS technologies.

5 – Carbon 3D – Market Cap $1.7bn

  • Founded: 2014.
  • Company based: USA.
  • Main 3D printing technology: CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production).

Less than five years old, Carbon 3D are another company which have experienced massive investment and a sky-high market capitalization. Pioneering their CLIP 3D printing technology (a hybrid of stereolithography which allows them to print objects up to 100 times faster), Carbon 3D are starting to sell their industrial 3D printer systems across the globe.

Started by Joseph and Philip DeSimone, Carbon 3D attained widespread exposure after their viral TED Talk about 3D printing 100x faster. Since then, they’ve rolled out their first few machines, the M1 and M2, and have a market value of over a billion dollars. Major commercial¬†3D printing services such as Sculpteo have since introduced CLIP technologies into their service portfolio.

industrial 3d printer carbon 3d
Carbon 3D promise to make 3D printing 100 times faster with their innovative CLIP 3D printing solutions.

6 – Vader Systems – Market Cap $30M

  • Founded: 2013.
  • Company based: USA.
  • Main 3D printing technology: Liquid Metal 3D Printing.

Vader Systems is an industrial 3D printer manufacturer aiming to commercialize their Liquid Metal 3D printing technology. Started by father and son Scott and Zachary Vader after finding problems with a then 18-year-old Zach’s experiment with a¬†micro-gas turbine generator. This led to their patenting of their unique Magnet-o-Jet technology which forms the basis of Liquid Metal 3D printing.

An industrial 3D printer manufacturer in the metal 3D printing industry, Vader Systems raised significant capital to create their first industrial 3D printer range. This range includes their Polaris system, Magnet-o-Jet subsystem, and the Ares powder system. One advantage Vader Systems have is the sheer uniqueness of their technology, so we may be seeing very big things from them in the future.

industrial 3d printer vader systems
Vader Systems’ patented Magnet-o-Jet and Liquid Metal printing technologies promise to shake up the industrial 3D printer market.

7 – Arcam – Market Cap $685M

Swedish company Arcam are a major player in the industrial 3D printer industry, since being established over twenty years ago in 1997. The only company to commercialize Electron Beam Melting technology, Arcam currently sell four EBM 3D printers: the Arcam A2X, Arcam Q10plus, Q20plus, and Arcam Spectra H. Electron Beam Melting is similar to DMLS, just instead of using a laser, an electron beam is used.

Arcam have experienced much success in the industrial 3D printer industry over the years, partly down to their monopoly over EBM 3D printing. So much so, that when GE entered the 3D printing market, incorporating GE Additive, they acquired Arcam along with Concept Laser as part of a $1.4 billion investment.

industrial 3d printer arcam
The only company producing EBM 3D printers, Arcam was recently purchased by GE Additive.

8 – SLM Solutions – Market Cap $380M

  • Founded: 2006.
  • Company based: Germany.
  • Main 3D printing technology: Direct Metal Laser Sintering.

Undoubtedly a market leader in DMLS technologies, SLM Solutions was founded in 2006 though the beginnings of the company can be traced back to the 1990s. The German company has a stellar reputation for anything SLM/DMLS, and has expanded to sell three SLM 3D printers.

A leader in industrial machines, SLM Solutions supply clients across the aeronautics, automotive, dental, and medical sectors as well as others. This is because metal 3D printing allows for strong metal parts which are also lighter, creating significant cost savings for companies. Though not a hyped startup, SLM looks to experience solid growth and to cement itself in the DMLS industry.

industrial 3d printer slm solutions
One of the kings of Selective Laser Melting, SLM Solutions are another German company dominating the industrial 3D printer market.

9 – ExOne- Market Cap $160M

  • Founded: 2005.
  • Company based: Germany.
  • Main 3D printing technology: Binder Jetting.

ExOne are an industrial 3D printer company from Germany known for pioneering Binder Jetting 3D printing. This technology, able to 3D print metal as well as sandstone, is an interesting alternative to DMLS or EBM. Since being incorporated in 2005, ExOne have expanded to offer a variety of industrial, large 3D printer systems, including their S-Print, M-Print, and M-Flex systems.

Though not quite the only incumbent, ExOne are in a similar situation to Arcam in they have little competition within their technology. As a result, ExOne are the go-to industrial 3D printer manufacturer for anything Binder Jetting.

industrial 3d printer exone
ExOne Binder Jetting 3D printers don’t just print metal, but also sandstone.

10 – Markforged – Market Cap ~$250-300M

  • Founded: 2013.
  • Company based: USA.
  • Main 3D printing technology: Continuous Filament Fabrication.

Since being founded in 2013 by Greg Mark to take advantage of their technology which allows for the printing of carbon fiber composite printing, Markforged are a continuous success story. Moving from a more cheap 3D printer to their industrial 3D printer, the Markforged Metal X, the American company has continued to thrive.

This continued success has led to several investments to equip Markforged with the funds it needs to expand further. These investments include a $30M series C investment driven by companies such as Microsoft and Porsche. As a company not limited to just the industrial 3D printer industry, Markforged has the potential to become one of the best 3D printer companies out there.

industrial 3d printer markforged
Markforged’s Metal X undercuts most rivals in the metal 3D printer space, costing $100,000.

Honorable mentions:

VoxelJet: Market Cap $75M

Organovo: Market Cap $160M

Nano Dimension: Market Cap $200M

Formlabs: Undisclosed valuation but has received over $105M in investment and has acquired Pinshape, with over $2m in annual revenue. Estimated valuation at $700M-$1bn.

3D Printing Services: Materialise (MC: $600M), Proto Labs ($4bn).

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