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Digital Manufacturing Revolution? A Look At The Industry And Innovator Shapeways (NASDAQ: SHPW)

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By Faith Ashmore, Benzinga

The world of manufacturing has experienced an increase in digital manufacturing and 3D printing, revolutionizing the way products are designed, prototyped, and produced. The digital manufacturing market, which had a market size of approximately $436.8 billion in 2022, is projected to skyrocket to an estimated $1.9 trillion by 2032, displaying a CAGR of 15.0% over 2022-2032. Similarly, the global 3D printing market has witnessed a surge in revenue, estimated to be valued at $15 billion in 2023. This market is set to expand further and is expected to reach $34.5 billion by 2028, reflecting a CAGR of 18.1% within the five-year period.

Digital manufacturing and 3D printing enable faster production times, enhanced design flexibility, and cost-efficiency compared to traditional manufacturing methods. With digital manufacturing, companies can optimize their supply chains, reduce waste, and streamline the production process. 3D printing enables the creation of complex and intricate designs, reducing the need for assembly tasks and enabling the production of parts with less material wastage.

Advancements in technology and materials have significantly contributed to the growth of the digital manufacturing and 3D printing industries. 3D printers have evolved in recent years with faster printing speeds, and a wider range of printable materials has expanded the possibilities for manufacturing in various sectors, including aerospace, healthcare, automotive, and consumer goods.

The increasing adoption of digital manufacturing and 3D printing by industries and the rise of personalized manufacturing and mass customization trends have also fueled their growth. These technologies empower businesses to meet the changing demands of their customers by tailoring products to individual preferences and requirements, giving rise to a new era of customization and product personalization. However, not all businesses have the capacity to reap the benefits of digital manufacturing without support.

That’s where companies like Shapeways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SHPW), a prominent player in the digital manufacturing industry, come into play. Shapeways is accomplishing this by enabling on-demand manufacturing and simplifying complex production through its exclusive software system. The company extends its support to small and midsized manufacturers, providing them access to Shapeways' proprietary software and assisting them in digitizing their operations, driving revenue growth, and expanding their manufacturing capabilities.

The company has implemented several initiatives to revolutionize the sector and become a leader in the manufacturing space. Following the company’s 26% year-over-year enterprise growth in 2023, Shapeways launched its first Annual Shapeways Manufacturing Week. This week was designed for the industry to get valuable insights about core topics like AI, designing for quality production, and the intersection of additive and traditional manufacturing.

The company has also expanded into key markets with its multi-million-dollar medical contracts for the FDA. Its technology has helped the medical industry provide customized orthopedic solutions, patient-specific surgical guides, and unique sleep aids. In addition to the medical industry, Shapeways secured two Tier 1 supplier contracts for leading automotive and transportation manufacturers, which it expects to result in more than $2.8 million in annual revenue over the next seven years.

Financials And Market Position In 2023

Shapeways targets multiple large markets, such as healthcare and robotics. COVID-19 demonstrated the value of 3D printing in the healthcare industry as the technology was used to manufacture ventilators and other medical supplies; government support, along with increasing investments, is expected to drive the market for the technology. Earlier this year, Shapeways began incorporating generative artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into its workflows. This adoption of advanced technology, powered by Shapeways' MFG software platform and core technology, enhances order accuracy and service quoting. The use of AI also enables the creation of robust user profiles, allowing manufacturer clients to customize their offerings. Shapeways is then able to combine generative AI models with their proprietary technology to provide a 3D modeling service. Growth of AI in manufacturing is expected to drive the market to reach $16.3 billion by 2027, highlighting Shapeways' strategic move towards this transformative technology.

The company reported an increase in its share of wallet with existing customers on multi-year revenue projects and saw revenues for the first nine months of last year from its top 250 customers grow 18% compared to the same period last year. For the fourth quarter of 2023, the company anticipates revenue to be in the range of $9.3 million to $10.0 million.

As the global manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, digital manufacturing and 3D printing are poised to play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping the future of production. Shapeways could be poised to become a key player in this new and evolving industry.

Read more about what Shapeways is doing in the manufacturing and software industries.

Benzinga is a leading financial media and data provider, known for delivering accurate, timely, and actionable financial information to empower investors and traders.

This post contains sponsored content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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