Connect with us

Business

Phuket Business: Replicating your life savings

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The new hot sector for technology investors is in the rapidly growing 3D printer business. 3D printing is the process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printers use a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) file to create objects using a sequential layering process. This technology is used in jewelry; footwear; industrial design; architecture; engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, the dental and medical industries; education; civil engineering and many other fields.

My first introduction to 3D printing came in 1997, working as a mechanical engineer, while printing out of plastic the first prosthetic limb for a below-the-knee amputee. The purpose was to manufacture a cost-effective prosthetic limb from a digital scan of the patients remaining leg. At the time it was cutting edge technology but new advances have come a long way since 1997. Last month, surgeons for the first time used 3D printing to completely replace damaged bone in a patient needing a skull replacement. 75% of the patient’s skull was successfully replaced with 3D-printed material. The uses of this technology are endless.

The Process

The process begins with taking virtual blueprints from CAD and “slicing” them into digital cross-sections for the machine to use as a guideline for printing. Material is then layered until a 3D model has been “printed”. These layers of material are fused together to create the final shape. What this allows for is to create an object of any shape or geometric feature. This is known as rapid prototyping. There are several rapid prototyping techniques and companies using this technology, but they all use the basic five step process.

1) Create a CAD model of the design; 2) Convert the CAD model to STL format; 3) Slice the STL file into thin cross-sectional layers; 4) Construct the model one layer atop another; 5) Clean and complete the model

Dassault Systemes SA (DASTY)

Dassault Systemes is the largest company in the sector with a market cap of $14.32bn. The stock is currently trading at $115.77, just shy of its 52-week high of $117.90. Dassault is in the strongest position of the companies with 3D printing technology. The company has a forward P/E of 20.90 with a strong return on equity of 15.18% and operating margins of 24.70%. The company is sitting on $1.71bn in cash. I do like the stock, but it has had a good run off its 52-week low of $84.17. I advise investors to wait for a pullback.

The ExOne Company (XONE)

The ExOne Company is a new Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the 3D printing sector. The company came public just last month and jumped over 47% on its first day of trading from its offering price of $18. They raised $95 million from their IPO. The stock is currently trading at $30.74 and has a market cap of $393 million.

ExOne’s 3D printer is unique in that the customer can print in the material that they desire. Their competitors require that the customer print in plastic. Currently Ford, Boeing and Caterpillar are using ExOne’s printers. The company has a backlog of orders for their printers and I look for growth to continue.

Even though the stock is much higher than its recent IPO price of $18, this is one my favorite stocks in the sector. It has the lowest market cap compared to the other companies in the 3D printer business and I think it has the most room for growth and upside potential. ExOne is focusing solely on large industrial users with significant resources rather than consumers. The company will grow revenues not only from new orders for machines, but from servicing the printers and selling parts. ExOne currently is deriving 2/3 of its revenues from its services business.

Overall Assessment

Rapid prototyping technology has revolutionized the way parts are engineered and designed. Don’t expect to find 3D printers on the shelf at Power Buy in Phuket this week, however, the 3D printer is finally coming to the consumer level. 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) has a home-based printer for a starting price of US$1,299. But this printer can only print an object the size of a basketball and can only print in one color. Companies and universities are now the main users of 3D printing but remember the first personal computer began in the same way before hitting the consumer level. The 3D printing business has major potential for growth. The sector is volatile and is not for the risk adverse but for long-term investors, the sector holds tremendous potential.

Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket, Thailand.

He has over 15 years experience and provides personal financial planning and wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK and US pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email: freemancapital@gmail.com.

This article appears in more detail in the current issue (April 27-May 3) of the Phuket Gazette newspaper, on sale at newsstands throughout the island. Digital subscribers may download the full issue, this week and every week, by clicking here.

— Don Freeman

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand53 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Australian released from death row, Samui restaurant raided | September 20

News2 hours ago

Pathum Thani man allegedly lights building on fire, sticks around to laugh and smile

Thailand2 hours ago

Australian and American on Thai death row released from Thai death row, Supreme Court clears drug trafficking case

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

World3 hours ago

Insect snacks hit Japanese vending machines

Thailand4 hours ago

The Return of ‘THE TIM’ | Thaiger Bites | September 20

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 12,709 new cases; provincial totals

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

Pattaya laundry shop reports ladies’ underwear thief is on the loose

World5 hours ago

Hanoi to ease Covid restrictions this week

Thailand6 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Thailand6 hours ago

Government believes more suspects involved in theft from budget meant for the disabled

Thailand7 hours ago

Dual Pricing and Reduced tax on Alcohol | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 92

Thailand8 hours ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok8 hours ago

Bangkok residents warned of flooding risk as torrential rain forecast this week

Thailand8 hours ago

Government seeks to regulate infectious waste disposal charges

World9 hours ago

Manny Pacquiao to run for president of the Philippines

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending