NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's relatively rare these days to find a viable tech sector that allows investors to buy in easily at the ground floor.But when we look at three-dimensional printing, an exception is still seen in its emerging phases. Though perhaps for the wrong reasons, recent news of successful tests with the world's first 3-D-printed gun has put the sector back into the headlines.
The cheapest 3-D printers are currently available for around $500. As these prices continue to drop, the more democratized manufacturing landscape will become a local industry, with items produced near focused markets or areas with significant raw materials access. Undoubtedly, this is a bullish scenario but finding specific companies to watch can be a difficult task, given the current phase of the long-term cycle. Expected Earnings After a Recent IPO One of the most recent companies in the sector is ExOne (XONE - Get Report), which went public in February. Its most recent performance numbers have been supportive. The latest sales were better than expected at $12.7 million, and the positive surprise helped lift values in some of the other stocks in the sector.