3-D Printing Again Venturing Into Next-Level Concepts | ETF Trends

3-D printing has long been a disruptive technology known for venturing into new arenas. That status remains true today, and it carries with it investment implications.

Over the long haul, that could prove beneficial to assets such as the ARK 3D Printing ETF (CBOE: PRNT) — the lone dedicated 3-D printing exchange traded fund. Like other disruptive growth investment segments, PRNT is faltering this year, but those declines arguably belie a still-compelling long-term outlook.

Researchers from the Rowland Institute at Harvard are discovering new applications for 3-D printing, adding to a growing list of relevant points in PRNT’s favor.

“The researchers present a method to help the printers live up to their names and deliver a ‘true’ 3D form of printing. In a new paper in Nature, they describe a technique of volumetric 3D printing that goes beyond the bottom-up, layered approach. The process eliminates the need for support structures because the resin it creates is self-supporting,” reports Juan Siliezar for the Harvard Gazette.

The Harvard news arrives as 3-D printing companies, including PRNT member firms, continue making inroads in industries ranging from agriculture to healthcare to aerospace and defense. That diverse opportunity set highlights PRNT’s long-term potential.

“The researchers used their printer to produce a 3D Harvard logo, Stanford logo, and a small boat, a standard yet difficult test for 3D printers because of the boat’s small size and fine details like overhanging portholes and open cabin spaces,” according to the Gazette.

By the standards of today’s 3-D printing landscape, those are basic pursuits, but added efficiencies in the 3-D printing process — particularly if scale is achieved — enhance the allure of this technology to end users. It’s possible that those efficiencies are already bubbling to the surface.

“The potential of volumetric 3D printing is seen as a game changer, because it will eliminate the need for complex support structures and dramatically speed up the process when it reaches its full potential,” adds the Gazette.

Bottom line: Amid declines among disruptive growth equities, the group may be offering up rarely seen value. That could apply to some PRNT components as well. Still, patience will remain a virtue for risk-tolerant investors considering PRNT.

For more news, information, and strategy, visit the Disruptive Technology Channel.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.