An interesting feature of today’s market environment, in relation to the leading growth stocks, is that there is a missing character in the innovation trade, 3D printing. With post-Covid onshoring and regionalization of supply chains a clear and likely secular trend, one could postulate that it is a case of now or never for the additive manufacturing industry.

The Razor and Blade Model

During the mid to late 1990s, Gillette was highly regarded as one of the top growth stocks of the day. The high regard was tied to the company’s business model, which is best summarized in the saying: “give away the razors to sell the blades.” It can be an ideal business model as high frequency consumption of a consumer staple product creates the conditions for attractive economics.

3D Printing – Additive Manufacturing

While profit margins similar to a top consumer staples company are highly unlikely for the broad additive manufacturing industry, there is the potential for various manufacturing sector equivalents. The key to higher margin, higher volume goods and services in 3D printing is in the consumables (the “ink”), software, and services.

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