3D Printing Companies for Your Stock Portfolio

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One of today's phenomenons making a lot of noise is 3D printing.

3D printing, formally known as “additive manufacturing,” has been around since the 1980’s. Developed by inventor Chuck Hull in 1984, 3D printing is a process of producing tangible objects from a digital blueprint of a virtual 3D object. The process is accomplished by a device--a 3D printer-- that “prints” an object by layering materials on top of each other. Over the last five years, 3D printing has gone mainstream and its applications run from producing a small trinket in one’s own home to a transplantable kidney in a professional laboratory.

Who are the producers? The field is still quite raw. For the professional industries, the leaders are Stratasys (SSYS), 3D Systems (DDD), ARC Group Worldwide (ARCW), and Computer-Aided Design (CAD), all of which have experienced recent success in the stock market. For the mainstream retail consumer, private companies MakerBot and XYZprinting Inc. are the leaders, the latter of which sells 3D printers as low as $500 retail. 3D printing’s versatility makes its application enormous.

Here are nine stocks, ranked by our own proprietary quantitative ranking system at TheStreetRatings.com, that can give investors exposure to 3D printing:

Organovo Holdings Inc. (ONVO)

Organovo Holdings, Inc., a development-stage company, focuses on developing and commercializing functional human tissues that could be employed in drug discovery and development, biological research, and as therapeutic implants for the treatment of damaged or degenerating tissues and organs.

The company is developing a suite of standardized and three-dimensional human tissues for the preclinical assessment of drug effects, including applications in predictive toxicology, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics; customized human tissues as living, dynamic models of human biology or disease, for use in drug discovery and development; and three-dimensional human tissues for clinical applications, such as blood vessels for bypass grafting and nerve grafts for nerve damage repair, as well as functional tissue patches for the repair or replacement of damaged tissues and organs.

Organovo Holdings, Inc. has collaboration agreements with United Therapeutics Corporation; Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University; Michael J. Fox Foundation; Hoffman La Roche; and L'Oreal. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in San Diego, CA.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ORGANOVO HOLDINGS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ORGANOVO HOLDINGS INC (ONVO) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ONVO Ratings Report

The ExOne Company (XONE)

The ExOne Company manufactures and sells three dimensional printing machines and printing products in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

The company provides Max, Print, Flex, and Lab machines that enable designers and engineers to design and produce industrial prototypes and production parts; and ExMicro Orion machine, a laser micromachining product for conventional and exotic materials.

It also offers associated materials comprising consumables and replacement parts; and other services, such as pre-print services, training, and technical support. The company markets its products to industrial customers in the aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, energy/oil/gas, and other industries under the ExOne brand name.

The ExOne Company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in North Huntingdon, PA.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates EXONE CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EXONE CO (XONE) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: XONE Ratings Report

3D Systems Corp. (DDD)

3D Systems Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a provider of 3D printing centric design-to-manufacturing solutions in the United States, Germany, the Asia-Pacific, and other European countries.

Its 3D printers convert data input from computer aided design generated software format or 3D scanning and sculpting devices to printed parts. The company offers stereolithography, selective laser sintering, direct metal sintering, multi-jet modeling, color jet printing, and film transfer imaging printers, as well as plastic jet printing products.

It also blends, markets, sells, and distributes proprietary, consumable, engineered plastic, nylon, and metal materials and composites for the use in printers under Accura, DuraForm, CastForm, LaserForm, and VisiJet brand names. In addition, the company provides Geomagic software packages and design tools for reverse engineering, inspection, and haptic design packages; Cubify Invent and Cubify Design CAD software solutions; and 3D scanner products.

Further, it offers pre-sale and post-sale services comprising applications development and custom engineered production solutions; and installation, warranty, and maintenance services, as well as proprietary software printer drivers. The company primarily serves manufacturers of automotive, aerospace, computer, electronic, defense, education, consumer, energy, and healthcare products, as well as original equipment manufacturers, government agencies, universities, independent service bureaus, and individual consumers.

The company sells its products and services through its direct sales organization, sales agents, resellers, and distributors. 3D Systems Corporation was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Rock Hill, SC.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates 3D SYSTEMS CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate 3D SYSTEMS CORP (DDD) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed—some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: DDD Ratings Report

Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS)

Stratasys Ltd. provides additive manufacturing (AM) solutions for the creation of parts used in the processes of designing and manufacturing products and for the direct manufacture of end parts.

Its AM systems utilize its patented fused deposition modeling and inkjet-based PolyJet technologies to enable the production of prototypes, tools used for production and manufactured goods directly from three-dimensional (3D) CAD files or other 3D content.

The company offers desktop 3D printers for idea and design development, a range of systems for rapid prototyping, and production systems for direct digital manufacturing under the MakerBot, Mojo, uPrint, Dimension, Objet, Fortus, and SolidScape brands. It also develops, manufactures, and sells materials for use with its systems; and provides various services to its customers.

In addition, the company leases or rents 3D printers and 3D production systems; and produces prototypes and end-use parts for customers from a customer-provided CAD file, as well as offers support services and warranty. Its solutions are used in architecture, automotive, aerospace and defense, electronics, medical, footwear, toys, educational institutions, government and entertainment, apparel, heavy equipment, and manufacturing industries.

The company sells its products through a network of resellers and independent sales agents to individuals, smaller businesses, and large enterprises worldwide. Stratasys Ltd. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates STRATASYS LTD as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate STRATASYS LTD (SSYS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed—some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SSYS Ratings Report

Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK)

Autodesk, Inc. operates as a design software and services company worldwide.

Its Platform Solutions and Emerging Business segment offers AutoCAD software, a computer-aided design application for professional design, drafting, detailing, and visualization; and AutoCAD LT, a professional drafting and detailing software.

The company's Architecture, Engineering and Construction segment offers Autodesk Building Design Suites that give customers the ability to manage various phases of design and construction; Autodesk Revit products, which provide model-based design and documentation systems; Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suites; AutoCAD Civil 3D products that offer a surveying, design, analysis, and documentation solution; and AutoCAD Map 3D software, which provides direct access to data needed for infrastructure planning, design, and management.

Its Manufacturing segment provides Autodesk Product Design Suites, a solution for digital prototyping; Autodesk Inventor that allows manufacturers to go beyond 3D design to digital prototyping; AutoCAD Mechanical software to accelerate the mechanical design process; and Autodesk Moldflow family of injection molding simulation software provides tools.

The company's Media and Entertainment segment offers animation products that provide tools for digital sculpting, modeling, animation, effects, rendering, and compositing; and creative finishing products, which offer editing, finishing, and visual effects design and color grading solutions.

Autodesk, Inc. also sells consumer products for digital art, personal design and creativity, and home design in various digital storefronts and over the Internet. The company licenses or sells its products to customers in the architecture, engineering, and construction; manufacturing; and digital media, consumer, and entertainment industries directly, as well as through a network of resellers and distributors.

Autodesk, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in San Rafael, CA.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates AUTODESK INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AUTODESK INC (ADSK) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed—some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ADSK Ratings Report

Proto Labs, Inc. (PRLB)

Proto Labs, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures computer numerical control (CNC) machined and injection molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production.

Its primary manufacturing services comprise Firstcut, a CNC machining service; and Protomold, an aluminum injection molding service. The company serves product developers who use three-dimensional computer-aided design software to design products across a range of end-markets.

It has operation primarily in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Proto Labs, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Maple Plain, MN.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates PROTO LABS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PROTO LABS INC (PRLB) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed—some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including premium valuation and disappointing return on equity."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PRLB Ratings Report

FARO Technologies, Inc. (FARO)

FARO Technologies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and supports software-based three-dimensional measurement and imaging systems for manufacturing, industrial, building construction, and forensic applications.

The company's articulated electromechanical measuring devices include FaroArm, a combination of six or seven-axis, articulated measurement arm, a computer, and computer-aided measurement (CAM2) software programs; and FARO Laser ScanArm, a FaroArm equipped with a combination of a hard probe and non-contact line laser probe to measure products without touching them and offers a seven-axis contact/non-contact measurement device with an integrated laser scanner.

It also provides FARO Gage, an articulated arm device with a computer and software; FARO Laser Tracker Vantage that combines a laser measurement tool, a computer, and CAM2 software programs; FARO Focus3D to measure and collect data points; and FARO 3D Imager AMP, a non-contact 3D imager capable of collecting millions of points to generate infinitely-focused fringe patterns.

In addition, the company offers FARO Software, a proprietary CAD-based measurement and laser scanner software; CAM2 Measure 10 that allows customers to complete measurement jobs; FARO CAM2 Gage Software for measuring geometry and building dimensions; and FARO SCENE, a software to deliver scan processing solutions.

Further, it provides extended warranties, as well as support, training, and technology consulting services. The company sells its products through direct sales and distributors. It serves automobile, aerospace, and heavy equipment markets, as well as universities and law enforcement agencies in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. FARO Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Lake Mary, FL.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates FARO TECHNOLOGIES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FARO TECHNOLOGIES INC (FARO) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: FARO Ratings Report

ANSYS, Inc. (ANSS)

ANSYS, Inc. develops and markets engineering simulation software and services used by engineers, designers, researchers, and students in the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, electronics, biomedical, energy, and defense industries, as well as academia worldwide.

Its products include ANSYS Workbench, a framework upon which the company's engineering simulation technologies are built; ANSYS Engineering Knowledge Manager, a solution for simulation-based process and data management; and high-performance computing product suite delivering cross-physics parallel processing capability for the company's simulation software by supporting structural, fluids, thermal, and electronic simulations.

The company also offers geometry handling solutions for engineering simulation; meshing technology that transforms a physical model into a mathematical model; structures product suite, which offers simulation tools for product design and optimization; and Explicit Dynamics, which simulates physical events.

In addition, it provides ANSYS Composite PrepPost, a composite analysis and optimization technology; fluids products that provide modeling of fluid flow and other related physical phenomena; electronics products, which provide field simulation software for designing high-performance electronic and electromechanical products; and a suite of Apache software, which delivers power analysis and optimization platforms along with methodologies.

Further, the company offers System Simulation, a collaborative environment that leverages multiphysics, multibody dynamics, circuit, and embedded software simulation capabilities; Multiphysics that creates virtual prototypes of designs; SCADE, a solution for embedded software simulation and code production; and academic product suite with a portfolio of academic products based on associate, research, and teaching.

ANSYS, Inc. was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Canonsburg, PA.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ANSYS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ANSYS INC (ANSS) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ANSS Ratings Report

PTC Inc. (PTC)

PTC Inc. develops, markets, and supports software products and solutions in the areas of computer-aided design (CAD), product lifecycle management (PLM), application lifecycle management (ALM), supply chain management (SCM), and service lifecycle management (SLM) worldwide.

The company operates in two segments, Software Products and Services. Its CAD products include PTC Creo, an interoperable suite of product design software; and PTC Mathcad software for solving, analyzing, and sharing vital engineering calculations.

The company offers PLM products, such as PTC Windchill that provides lifecycle intelligence from design to service; and PTC Creo View, which enables enterprise-wide visualization, verification, annotation, and automated comparison of various product development data formats.

It also provides ALM products comprising PTC Integrity that enables users to manage system models, software configurations, test plans, and defects, as well as SCM products, including PTC Windchill FlexPLM, which is designed for manufacturers in the consumer products, retail, footwear, and apparel industries; and PTC Windchill Product Analytics, a suite of products that enable manufacturers to assess product compliance, performance, and risk in the product lifecycle.

In addition, the company's SLM products consisting of PTC Servigistics, a suite of software products that enables a systematic approach to service lifecycle management; and PTC Arbortext, an enterprise software suite for manufacturers to create, illustrate, manage, and publish technical and service parts information.

Further, PTC Inc. provides consultation, implementation, and training services. It sells its products and services through direct sales force, as well as through third-party resellers and other strategic partners.

The company was formerly known as Parametric Technology Corporation and changed its name to PTC Inc. in January 2013. PTC Inc. was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Needham, MA.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates PTC INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PTC INC (PTC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PTC Ratings Report

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