3D systems is printing the future

  @FortuneMagazine July 25, 2013: 7:07 AM ET
FGC12 3d lotus

The Lotus F1 racecar, made out of parts printed by 3D Systems


Fastest-Growing Companies rank: 12
CEO: Avi Reichental
Headquarters: Rock Hill, S.C.
Employees: 1,010
The business: 3-D printers, 3-D printing software, custom parts, and 3-D printing services

In 1983, Chuck Hull invented the 3-D printer. Three years later he founded 3D Systems (DDD). To say he was early to the space would be an understatement. "Some people view us as an overnight success," says 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental. "We view ourselves as an overnight success 30 years in the making." Today the company offers everything from 3-D scanning and design software to the 3-D printers themselves. (It will even make your object for you if you don't have your own printer.) The printers -- which range from the consumer-friendly $1,300 Cube to industrial printers valued at more than $1 million each -- create objects layer by layer using liquid materials like rubber and plastic. The company's revenue from printers and "other products" nearly doubled in 2012, and its stock price has been rising sharply. (The stock split three for two in February.) With powerful industries like health care and aerospace quickly adopting 3-D printing technologies, it's hard to see where 3-D printing slows down, says Reichental. "Beyond those industries," he adds, "I think we're going to be limited only by our imagination."

This story is from the August 12, 2013 issue of Fortune. To top of page

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