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LEIPZIG, Germany: Whereas the impact of COVID-19 continues to disrupt many sectors, the 3D-printing industry appears to have regained strength and is moving in a steady upward trajectory. This growth has been spurred on by many factors within the dental sector, including the need to streamline chairside appointments and improve safety for both dentists and patients.
3D Systems, a leader in the dental industry for more than 30 years, saw double-digit growth in the third-quarter versus 2020 results. Compared with the same period last year, revenue from healthcare increased by 28.3% to US$76.4 million. According to 3D Systems, when adjusted for divestitures, high demand for dental applications, both printers and materials, resulted in healthcare revenue in general increasing by 44.5% year over year.
In a press release, 3D Systems President and CEO Dr Jeffrey Graves said that, during this current period, the company’s focus is on investing in significant opportunities that it believes will drive high-margin recurring revenue. He noted that the company had recently acquired Volumetric Biotechnologies and had expanded its development agreement with United Therapeutics to include additional human organs and other applications within the human body.
Another firm experiencing positive growth is Materialise. The Belgium-based company reported a 28.0% revenue increase compared with 2020, and among several key areas of focus, revenue for its medical segment increased 10.2%, whereas manufacturing was up 62.0%. Additionally, net profit for the third quarter of 2021 was €8,652,000 or €0.15 per diluted share, compared with a loss of €282,000 or €0.01 per diluted share for the 2020 period.
Commenting on the results in a press release, Executive Chairman Peter Leys said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on in certain parts of the world, our record third-quarter results show that Materialise is coming out of this crisis stronger than before.”
As reported by Dental Tribune International, the European digital dentistry market, which includes CAD/CAM systems, CAD/CAM materials and dental 3D printers, is projected to experience double-digit growth reaching over €1.4 billion (US$1.7 billion) by 2027. In the first editorial of Dental Tribune’s newest magazine, 3D printing, Editor-in-Chief Dr George Freedman said, “The digital transformation of dentistry, including CBCT, intra-oral and extra-oral scanning, milling of ceramic and composite materials, and robotic implant placement, is firmly established.”
Another company experiencing good growth is Stratasys. A leading 3D-printing company for industries such healthcare, consumer products and more, it reported revenue growth of 24.3% and systems sales growth of 34.7% year over year. According to its third-quarter report, the increase in revenue from US$127.9 million in 2020 to US$159.0 million in 2021 was owing to contributions across all regions and all business lines.
In a press release, Stratasys Chief Executive Officer Dr Yoav Zeif noted, “We are at an inflection point for additive manufacturing. Industries appreciate the many benefits of our technologies and are increasingly adding 3D printing to their production plans, driving the shift from prototyping to mass production.”