Outlook is bright for Aussie 3D printing stocks – if they can win patents

First published on STOCKHEAD – March 28th, 2018


he outlook for ASX-listed 3D printer makers is strong — as long as they can win patents, a top expert says.

Australian 3D printers — particularly those focused on industrial markets (also known as additive manufacturing) — have an advantage in the local price of materials with our natural resources in high supply.

But they must secure patents needed to operate 3D printing globally at a commercial level, says Dr Matthew Rimmer, a professor of intellectual property and innovation law at Queensland University of Technology.

Tech analyst IDC believes the total market for global spending on 3D printing (including hardware, materials, software, and services) will be nearly $US12 billion this year — an increase of 20 per cent over 2017.

By 2021, IDC expects worldwide spending to be nearly $US20 billion with an annual growth rate of 20.5 per cent.

Discrete manufacturing will be the biggest market, accounting for half of all 3D printing spending through to 2012. Healthcare providers will be the second largest industry with a spending total of nearly $US1.3 billion in 2018, followed by education ($US974 million) and consumer ($US831 million).

Resources and healthcare segments will grow the fastest, IDC says.

Dr Rimmer sees industrial 3D printing and manufacturing as an area for huge potential, evidenced by a recent World Intellectual Property Organisation report indicating a surge in applications for 3D printing patents, particularly in Europe and Asia.