A tale of two ecosystems: How Stratasys and 3D Systems floundered with closed 3D printing ecosystems while startups flourished

July 29, 2019 | Case Study

3D Systems and Stratasys, founded in 1986 and 1989, respectively, were the first 3D printer companies to grow to commercial prominence. They accounted for about half the world 3D printing market as recently as 2014. Since then, the 3D printing industry has grown from $1.9 billion to more than $9.4 billion. However, Stratasys and 3D Systems have failed to benefit, with 3D Systems growing by just 5.2%, while Stratasys shrank 11.5% over the period from 2014 to 2018. Meanwhile newer entrants flourished. For example, HP, which launched its first 3D printer in 2016, became the world's largest 3D printer supplier, while multiple startups, including FormlabsDesktop Metal, and Carbon, have reached unicorn status, with valuations above $1 billion.

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