The ARK 3D Printing ETF (CBOE: PRNT) was a quiet star among thematic exchange traded funds in 2020, despite gaining more than 40%. The lone 3D printing ETF can deliver again for investors in the new year.

PRNT 1 Year Performance

Passively managed PRNT offers leverage to its namesake as its benchmark “is composed of equity securities and depositary receipts of exchange-listed companies from the U.S., non-U.S. developed markets and Taiwan that are engaged in 3D printing-related businesses within the following business lines: (i) 3D printing hardware, (ii) computer-aided design (“CAD”) and 3D printing simulation software, (iii) 3D printing centers, (iv) scanning and measurement, and (v) 3D printing materials,” according to Ark Investment Management.

3D printing, one of the original disruptive technologies, intersects with a variety of industries and its materials applications that could bode well for PRNT’s long-term trajectory. The coronavirus affected the 3D printing industry last year, but it’s ready to shake out of that funk.

“Progress and innovation continued, however, and new technologies and pent-up demand will help accelerate the market in 2021 and beyond,” reports TCT Magazine.

Where Do 3D Printing ETFs Like PRNT Go From Here?

PRNT debuted nearly three years ago as the first US-listed ETF dedicated to the 3D printing theme. The fund is one of two passively managed products from New York-based Ark Investment Management. ARK believes 3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing by collapsing the time between design and production, reducing costs, and enabling greater design complexity, accuracy, and customization than traditional manufacturing.

“Meanwhile, there was increased utilisation of the installed base of printers of all varieties for certain activities – such as producing pandemic-related goods. This is where the 3D printing market really shone in 2020. Indeed, most 3D printer companies became medical equipment manufacturers in first part of the year, turning their own printers to the production of PPE, nasopharyngeal swabs and ventilator parts as well as helping to fill supply-chain gaps for other goods,” adds TCT.

More COVID-19 vaccines coming to market will provide another spark for PRNT, and the broader 3D printing industry.

“As vaccines appear on the horizon and the world sees light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the 3D printing industry is poised for this resurgence. It is likely that 2021 will be marked by (1) the emergence of new printer technologies; (2) the fulfilment of pent-up demand from existing markets; and (3) the incorporation of 3D printing technology into new end markets looking for ways to streamline complicated supply chains and improve longer-term planning,” according to TCT.

For more on disruptive technologies, visit our 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.