A Thematic ETF for 3D Printing Boom | ETF Trends

With thematic exchange traded funds (ETFs) commanding more attention, investors may want to revisit one of the more seasoned members of the group: the 3D Printing ETF (CBOE: PRNT).

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.

PRNT, which is up 15.55% year-to-date, follows the Total 3D-Printing Index. That index “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.

“In terms of PRNT’s MSCI ESG Fund Quality Score, PRNT’s score of 5.75 ranks in the 51st percentile within its peer group and in the 58th percentile within the global universe of all funds in the MSCI ESG Fund Metrics coverage,” according to MoneyShow.com.

A Growth Market for 3D Printing

Data confirm that the 3D printing market is growing at an exponential rate, indicating PRNT has solid long-term potential.

“The global 3D printing market was assessed to be USD 7.01 billion in 2017,” according to Grandview Research. “It is expected to expand at a CAGR exceeding 16.5% from 2018 to 2025. Aggressive research and development in three-dimensional printing and growing demand for prototyping from healthcare, automotive, and aerospace and defense among other industry verticals are expected to drive the market growth.”

As regulatory guidelines become clearer, healthcare is expected to be a major market for 3D printing products and services in the years ahead.

“Although 3-D printing is touted as the game-changer in healthcare services, the industry has witnessed low adoption owing to the lack of technical understanding as well as lack of clear regulatory guidance,” according to Research and Markets. “The first-ever FDA guideline for 3-D printed healthcare products was published only in December 2017. As the regulations become clearer, the adoption of 3-D printing for body-touching devices is likely to increase.”

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