Rapid prototyping, also known as 3D printing, is an additive process, meaning that only the necessary amount of materials are used to create each product. Also, by creating products on-site, rather than in factories located thousands of miles away, 3D printing has the ability to reduce transportation miles and carbon dioxide emissions. Rapid prototyping companies are differentiated by the type of technology they employ. The majority of Stratasys’s systems are based on its core patented Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. Stratasys’s acquisition of Objet allowed the company to expand its technology portfolio. Objet is a hybrid system that combines aspects of FDM technology with a more widely used RP technique called Stereolithography Apparatus.
Stratasys uses thermoplastics (derived from petroleum) as its printer materials. Many of these thermoplastics are recyclable and very few have human or ecological concerns. Of concern, however, is Stratasys’s use of polycarbonates (known as PC and PC –ISO). These materials are controversial due to their ability to release bisphenol-A. Portfolio 21 has encouraged the company to replace materials recognized as hazardous with less toxic substances.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 1/31/14 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.