Stratasys’ stock plummeted 7% and then mostly recovered to finish down only 1.8% yesterday on news that corporate titan Hewlit Packard plans to enter the field of 3D printing. On the bright side for the Israeli firm, it revealed that its Objet Connex technology was successfully used to create some of the special effects in this year’s biggest blockbuster movie the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Stratasys fell to $115.87 yesterday for a 4.1% total loss since the start of the month.
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Hewlit Packard hopes to turn around its own financial woes with the unveiling of its new “Multi Jet Fusion” 3D printing technology. The company plans to market the new printer based on this technology in 2016.
But analysts are unimpressed and many are advising investors to stick with Stratasys. Steve Milunovich of UBS pointed out that the new Hewlit Packard tech is geared more for commercial rather than consumer applications.
Another plus for Stratasys is that the company has already proven that its tech can be used in many fields, including motion pictures.
If you follow film at all then you know that the Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise down year for Hollywood. Part of the movie’s appeal was its awe inspiring special effects that were, in part, made possible by Startasys Objet500 Connex.
A company that worked on the movie’s special effects, FBFX Ltd, used Startasys’ Objet500 Connex to its great satisfaction. It used the printer to make many of the props used in the film, including Star Lord’s helmet worn by lead-actor, Chris Pratt and the entire armor outfit for the character, Korath, played by Djimon Hounsou.
Grant Pearmain, director of costume and props at FBFX, said, “Quite simply, Stratasys’ PolyJet technology delivers a level of quality with precise detail that is better than anything else available. We no longer have to contend with repeatability issues like variations in skill level from one craftsman to another – we know exactly what the 3D printed piece will look like, regardless of how many pieces we’re producing.”
According to Pearmain, Startasys’ tech cut his firm’s workload in half.
“All told, we’re saving at least 50% on lead times, a precious commodity when working on a film, as there’s never enough time, ” he added.