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A Bitter Sweet Week

February 23, 2003

Filed under: additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 07:48

Last week was bitter sweet for the RP industry. The two largest U.S. manufacturers of rapid prototyping (RP) systems surprised the industry with their 2002 financial results. After discovering a $3 million accounting error and putting its CFO on administrative leave, 3D Systems announced that it would not be profitable in the fourth quarter or fiscal 2002. In January, the company had anticipated a fourth quarter return to profitability on revenue of about $33 million. Meanwhile, Stratasys announced record revenues and strong profits for the year.

These two companies are anchors in this exciting but fragile industry. It will be important for 3D Systems to get back on track very soon. Also, the company cannot afford to make any more mistakes. As for Stratasys, one can only believe that its Dimension product will bring more success to the company throughout 2003.