Market Analysis for XHD Printing

Part
01
of six
Part
01

XHD Printers: Tiger 3D Printers

As expressed by the previous research team, there is very little reliable public data (including size, business share, and financial information) available on Tiger 3D Printers beyond what the manufacturing company, Romanoff International Supply Corporation [Romanoff], has provided. However, using this data and additional sources incorporating data from Romanoff, some strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can be identified, including: novelty in the field, price point, and lack of effective marketing outreach, as outlined below. The Research Strategy section includes data from independent sources that may not be reliable, including declining revenues for Romanoff.

Strengths

  • Owned by an established company: Tiger3D is owned by Romanoff. Romanoff was founded in New York in 1949 as a metal fabrication company; it began in a 300 square foot loft and is now housed in a modern 40,000 square foot warehouse, according to its About section.
  • Projected novelty: Tiger3D produces the Tiger3D XHD Plus, which is capable of a resolution of 30um or 30 microns. The company defines this as "extreme resolution" and describes it as the finest resolution on the market, a pitch that may entice buyers.
  • Price point compared to industrial printers: Industrial printers such as the ProJet MJP 3600 (costing substantially more at about $70,000) are capable of resolutions as low as 16 microns. The Tiger3D XHD Plus is available for $9,495. This makes its relative cost substantially lower. However, it is not the least expensive option in the field, as detailed in the Threats section below.
  • Online outreach growth potential: Romanoff has an established YouTube page with 245,776 total views and 627 subscribers that could be used to promote awareness of its products.

Weaknesses

  • Marketing outreach: While it bills itself on its website as "the top USA go-to company for 3D printing technology needs," there are no mentions of Romanoff products or its services in online industry-related publications such as 3DPrint.com (which lists 1,708 existing personal and industrial printers and posts up-to-date news on industry developments) or 3DPrinting.com (which lists 170 industrial-only printers and also posts industry and prototype news). This means, at minimum, that marketing outreach is insufficient to reach industry experts.
  • Lack of independent reviews: The sole available online review for a Tiger3D Printer is posted on their website. It comes from Milo Jeweler's, a legitimate jewelry store based in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • Lack of online presence: The Tiger3D Printer website has two blog posts (last post: August 6, 2018) while the Romanoff blog page has three posts (last post: March 26, 2019). Their Facebook page is rated 5/5 by two people.

Opportunities

  • 3D printing in the jewelry industry is becoming increasingly common. Jewelers utilize the machines to produce molds, with value placed highest on accuracy. Tiger3D's claim to having the "most advanced 3D printing DLP system in the industry", giving the best resolution and improved accuracy, potentially positions it at the forefront of current demand.

Threats

Related Findings

  • While searching for public information on federal sites, it was found that the trademark for Tiger3D is now listed as abandoned.
  • The trademark was filed on April 7, 2017.
  • The trademark was first commercially used on November 22, 2016.
  • The trademark was listed as abandoned on May 15, 2018.
  • Trademarks are considered abandoned as a result of nonuse typically after three years, so this could simply indicate a failure to complete necessary paperwork. Either way, the trademark is no longer legally protected and products bearing the name and design can be produced by other companies.

Research Strategy

The research team began by searching for readily-available, independent information related to Tiger 3D Printers as a company. With no results, the parent company Romanoff was identified and a similar industry-based search was undertaken to determine details such as size, value, and revenue. Results for this portion were limited to those provided by the company or those found on information aggregation websites, with no profit or revenue data directly available.

The research team proceeded to analyze Romanoff and its Tiger3D printer line based on available data and market analysis, as outlined above, finding no external mention of either company on industry review sites.

Financial and company data was found on ZoomInfo showing declining employment and revenue, however, the validity of the data could not be confirmed independently. Insights and discrepancies are noted below.

ZoomInfo Data Shows Revenue, Employment Decline

  • ZoomInfo data is collected via public database scouring using Artificial Intelligence and is billed as reliable and accurate. The source of the information is not included with the data, however.
  • ZoomInfo has a score of 8.4 out of 10 on TrustRadius based on 458 vetted reviews, with most reviewers asserting that the data is accurate and helpful.
  • ZoomInfo lists that Romanoff had a revenue of $5.9 million in 2019. The company's revenue as $8.4 million in 2018. If accurate, this is a substantial weakness.
  • ZoomInfo lists that Romanoff has 30 employees, down from a peak 42 in mid-2018. If accurate, this may reflect that the company restructured based on revenue, which is a positive strategy or strength provided the company's operations are being handled sufficiently.
  • Revenue data for Romanoff could not be verified following a search for financial records from independent sources. However, the company's 2018 401k is noted as including 28 participants.
  • Romanoff's LinkedIn profile, produced by the company, lists it as having between 51-200 employees, which is higher than independent sources provide.


Part
02
of six
Part
02

XHD Printers: PCNA/Trimark

Trimark has a lot of strengths, including its industry experience, major licensing contracts in the last 10 years, strong design team, and fast turnaround times. The company's weaknesses revolve around poor social media marketing tactics (low levels of consumer engagement and social media followings), however, they have many opportunities in the areas of potential product innovation. Currently, they may be under threat of their competition (competing for major licensing deals), a consolidating market, and the emergence of highly specialized niche (boutique) players. A deep dive into these findings has been provided below.

Strengths

  • Trimark is a leader in its market (logoed apparel in the North American promotional industry).
  • This company has a long-standing in the industry, having been in business for over 40 years.
  • Trimark's apparel designs have won awards.
  • The company was awarded active wear and Olympic licenses for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Winter Games, as well as the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games
  • Trimark's factories have been "audited by a third party to be compliant with the highest social responsibility standards."
  • The company pulls its designers from leading athletic apparel companies including Nike and Reebok.
  • According to the company's LinkedIn profile, "Trimark is a five-time award winner as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, a winner of one of 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures (2013) and a winner of numerous industry awards."
  • The company operates its own private brand, Elevate.
  • The company claims to have a 24-hour-turnaround time after order placement.
  • Trimark is a subsidiary of Polyconcept, "the largest global supplier of promotional products, operating on five continents and selling to over 100 countries worldwide."

Weaknesses & Opportunities

  • Trimark has very low levels of engagement on their Facebook page, along with a relatively low follower count. Trimark has a very low subscriber and views count on YouTube.
  • Only 34 of the company's employees are linked to the company's LinkedIn page, giving the company low visibility among its employee's networks. Overall Trimark's LinkedIn profile shows signs of weakness in the content it's publishing as it lacks viral content and has super low engagement scores.
  • Currently, the company's apparel product lines are limited to six categories: polos, t-shirts/tops, woven shirts, knits and fleece, jackets, and accessories, including headwear. Given this, the company could seek to expand into untapped product categories such as shoes, undergarments, baby apparel, and handbags.
  • The company currently has retail licenses with Puma and Roots73, so there is opportunity for them to expand this licensing practice to other retailers as well.
  • Although Trimark has an overall strong social media presence in terms of the number of social media channels they run, the company could attempt to expand their social footprint further into untapped social media platforms where large portions of young consumers reside, such as TikTok and Snapchat.
  • In looking at Trimark's YouTube channel, their highest view counts come from videos about their decoration techniques and other behind-the-scenes content, but it seems they haven't posted content like this in years. There may be an opportunity for the company to gain more followers by posting more up-to-date viral content like this.
  • Trimark has a low level of Instagram engagement compared to other apparel brands, however, the video content they post here get's significantly more engagement than photos, so there is some opportunity here for Trimark to boost activity on this channel by posting more video-based content.
  • The promotional products industry is expected to grow. Experts in the industry believe there will be opportunities in the areas of items for resale, licensing, and B2C channels.
  • Experts in the promotional products industry have suggested there will be a rise in creative promotional agencies in the next 10 years. This could be an opportunity for Trimark to evolve by providing ad/branding agency services alongside their apparel production services.
  • In the coming years, there will be particularly high growth in the women's segment of the decorated apparel market, and technological innovations and innovative products will be key growth drivers. Therefore, Trimark could focus on investing in these areas of their business. The decorated apparel market will be seeing an increasing demand for reflective finishes and retro logos, as well, which is another area Trimark could focus on to create opportunities for growth.

Threats

  • Industry experts in the promotional products industry expect that in the next 10 years, "technology will drive a consolidation for both distributors and suppliers because the only way to benefit from the necessary investment in technology will be greater scale. [And that it's necessary for this industry to] keep pace with the enhanced buying experience other channels are providing to stay relevant."
  • Promotional industry experts suggest that over the next 10 years, large, multi-prong players could be squeezed out more by smaller online and boutique players that have niche focuses (i.e. specializations).
  • This research did not turn up any evidence of major licensing deals Trimark has made in recent years. While it's possible these deals have simply not been made public, this could also indicate that Trimark is currently under threat from its competitors.

Research Strategy

Please note that providing a more detailed and comprehensive SWOT analysis for this company was hindered by the fact that the company is a privately owned subsidiary and neither they nor their parent company have a publicly available annual report (which is where the most credible insights for a SWOT analysis can usually be found). Therefore, the data provided above was the result of first-hand analysis and assessment of any and all credible resources that provided information on this company which could be synthesized into the final SWOT analysis using logical reasoning. This information was pulled primarily from the company's website, social media pages, and marketing reports.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

XHD Printers: Stratasys Ltd

Besides enjoying a technological head start, Stratasys Ltd. has other strengths, as well as weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as outlined below.

Strengths

  • Stratasys Ltd. enjoys a technological head start by being among the pioneers in inventing 3D printing technologies over 30 years ago. Today, it is the leading company in 3D printing on the globe, providing services to top companies in numerous industries. Such a head start is a powerful tool for warding off possible competition.
  • Stratasys' customers range from individuals and startups to leading companies in aerospace and automotive industries. Other industries served include dental, medical, consumer products, railway, and education. The diverse customer base shields Stratasys Ltd. from downturns in individual industries as it can capitalize on opportunities in different sectors.
  • The company has an extensive market reach, which positively influences its revenue. Currently, Stratasys Ltd. has 31 offices across 12 countries. It also has a strong distribution network that easily avails its 3D products to numerous customers when needed.

Weaknesses

  • Stratasys relies on consumables as the major source of recurring revenue. Although this source exhibited a strong performance, per third quarter 2019 financial results, it exposes the company to risks of losing business to competitors. Competitors can replicate the 3D printing materials and services and offer them at significantly low prices to trigger a price war.
  • Stratasys mainly depends on resellers to distribute its products. Currently, the company is eyeing to expand its reseller network to New Zealand and Australia’s 3D printing market. Besides having a strong influence on the selling terms, resellers may also affect the company negatively if they poorly represent the products and provide questionable service.

Opportunities

  • Stratasys Ltd. works with organizations of all kinds and sizes in many industries to help them design and make things with 3D printing technology. As 3D technology evolves, it is bound to be more efficient and widely applicable in many industries. Thus, if Stratasys Ltd. can sustain innovation in this area, its potential market size is huge.
  • Stratasys Ltd can also capitalize on high performing markets, such as the Americas, by introducing an attractive portfolio of new products to create additional sources of revenue. The products should be mainly in 3D categories, such as FDM and PolyJet.

Threats

  • Competition in the industry has intensified, thus putting a downward pressure on prices. The overall effect of increased competition could reduce revenue for Stratasys Ltd., if it slashes its prices, or result in a loss of market share if it does not.
  • New technological developments among competitors are a real threat to Stratasys' operations. Its loyal customers can easily be enticed by new inventions and tech to shift allegiance, leading to a loss of market share.



Part
04
of six
Part
04

XHD Printers: 3D Systems

3D Systems' strengths include a strong financial position, a wide product portfolio, a skilled labor force, significant brand awareness, and strategic partnerships. Below is an overview of the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths

  • Strong Financial Position: 3D Systems enjoys a strong financial position with revenues of about $632.97 million, 646.07 million, and 687.66 million in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. The company has also accumulated profits in the past three years of consecutive profitability that can be used in financing future acquisition and expansion projects.
  • Wide Product Portfolio: 3D Systems has a wide portfolio of 'Products' and 'Services.' Its products include 3D printers, software, materials, 3D scanners, "virtual surgical simulators," and "haptic design tools." The company's services include training and maintenance services, software services, healthcare services, and on-demand solutions.
  • Skilled Labor Force: 3D Systems' employee base was 2,620 strong as of December 31, 2018. Apart from possessing the capability to attract and retain top-notch talent, the company is committed to training both old and new personnel. 3D Systems also trains its partners to allow them to perform various after-sale services including maintenance.
  • Brand Awareness: 3D Systems has been in operation since 1986 and claims to have been "co-founded by the inventor of 3D printing." The company also has a strong online presence with a functional website and over 120,000 followers on Twitter (74,500), Facebook (30,965), and Instagram (17,600) combined.
  • Strategic Partnerships: 3D Solutions continues to develop strategic partnerships within and outside the United States, specially in Brazil, India, and China. In 2018, the company formed a partnership with GF Machining Solutions in a bid to enhance its "metals printing distribution, scalability, and automation."

Weaknesses

  • Minimal Assets: As of December 31, 2018, 3D Systems owned only 101,000 square feet of assets in the United States and leased about 1.08 million square feet, mostly in the United States. All the company's overseas operations (in APAC and EMEA) are conducted on leased facilities.
  • Poor Financial Planning: 3D Systems lacks sufficient cash flow to fund general corporate expenditures and future working capital. During 2018's fourth quarter, the company had to draw "$25 million on its revolving credit line" and it fears that it may have to adopt alternatives such as restructuring, borrowing, and asset liquidation in case it fails to generate the required cash flow.
  • Legal Issues: 3D Systems faces nine lawsuits filed by company stockholders against certain ex-executives and board members. Since 2017, the company has been under investigation by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for possible violation of United States export control regulations. These issues have caused the company to incur substantial legal expenses.
  • High Contractual Obligations: In 2019, 3D Systems' commercial commitments and contractual obligations was about $96.19 million. Debt obligations stood at about $25 million and "capitalized lease obligations" at $1.099 million.
  • Low Employee Retention: Employees at 3D Systems usually stay for only about 2.6 years. This could be because the company's average salary is below that of some of its competitors.

Opportunities

  • E-commerce Growth: A review of 3D Systems' 'How to Buy' pages revealed that the company's e-commerce efforts are wanting. Most of its 3D products and services are only available through its supply partners, and some customers might find the multi-step process for purchasing the ones that are available on its website to be complicated.
  • Social Media Marketing: While 3D Systems has over 120,000 followers on Twitter (74,500), Facebook (30,965), and Instagram (17,600) combined, that may not be enough in today's digital world. Expanding its social media base will open an opportunity for reaching a wide market segment.
  • Falling Interest Rates: The U.S. Central bank recently cut interest rates and there is speculation that the trend might continue. 3D Systems could take advantage of the lowered interest rates to acquire loans for financing expansion projects.
  • The Green Market: Companies in the manufacturing industry that have gone green are reaping substantial benefits such as a 30% tax credit, reduced energy costs, brand recognition by conscious buyers, and attraction of talent. By joining other electronic manufacturers that have adopted sustainable practices, 3D Systems can appeal more to the younger generation.

Threats

  • Market Concentration: As of 2018, the United States accounted for about 49.6% of 3D Systems' sales revenue. Furthermore, a single customer accounted for about 13% of the company's consolidated revenue. Loss of the said client or any negative eventualities in the U.S. market may adversely affect its profitability.
  • Market Instability: The portion of 3D Systems' business that is conducted outside the United States is subject to unforeseeable market conditions such as currency fluctuations, policy changes, political unrest, taxation changes, and changes in export controls, among others.
  • Rising Competition: 3D Systems' competitors are designing, researching, marketing, and developing competitive software, materials, services, and equipment, some of whom might have substantially greater resources. Also, competitors might take advantage of the expired or soon-to-expire patents to produce similar products that may lead to revenue losses.
  • Cyber Security Threats: 3D Systems has been a victim of cyber attacks with several attempts by hackers to gain access to its sensitive information. While previous attacks have not had any material impact, the company fears that the attacks are likely to continue.
  • IP Infringement: 3D Systems may lack the legal capacity to protect its intellectual property from unauthorized copying or third-party infringers. Additionally, the company is at risk of incurring significant costs for acquiring and defending its intellectual property.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

XHD Printers: Ponoko

Ponoko offers an online XHD printing service, with the most accurate laser precision of 0.1mm, to custom make clients digital products, from as little as $1. This is just one of the firm's strengths we've highlighted below, as well as the weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strength

  • Ponoko's online 3D laser printing service, "with 0.1mm laser precision," generates tailor-made products for clients faster, from as little as $1.
  • The company offers same-day shipping, if ordered at the right time, instant online quotes, and a 100% re-make guarantee for clients.
  • Ponoko's community has over 200,000 skilled and knowledgeable designers ready to turn clients' digital designs into real products.
  • The firm's customers claim that it has great prices compared to other competitors who charge "4-8 times more."

Weaknesses

  • Ponoko's vision is to make downloadable digital product designs ("rather than the products themselves") accessible across the globe to be made locally. However, the company is still in its early stages, with offices only in the U.S. and New Zealand, and cannot benefit from the global market potential.
  • Ponoko has an unclear unique selling proposition, from the official website, highlighting the meaningful benefits of its XHD printing services to customers.
  • Some of Ponoko's customers have of recent complained that shipping costs could be higher than the cost of the product.

Opportunities

  • There's a market opportunity for Ponoko to expand its location beyond the U.S. and New Zealand to the Asia Pacific and parts of Europe, where there is an emerging need for XHD printing services.
  • Currently, Ponoko provides laser cutting & engraving services for designing customers' housewares, leather goods, musical instruments, toys, feather fans, and more. However, with the FDA's approval of 3D printing technology for drug production, there's an opportunity for the firm, which also uses this technology, to benefit from the new regulation.

Threats

  • There are legal issues concerning the technology, 3D printing, used by Ponoko, including civil liability and intellectual property rights, which are yet to be clarified. There's a high likelihood of Ponoko getting sued in the future, should a client complain about copyright infringement of a product he/she submitted for printing.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

XHD Printers: Optomec

Optomec recently had a growth in sales and has over $30 million invested in product development. However, it is still smaller than one of its main competitors, Stratasys. More information about this company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is provided below.

Strengths

  • Optomec had significant growth in sales. On its 2019 second quarter sales revenue grew 43% compared to its Q2 2018 results, and its "first half sales increased by 40% over the same period in 2018." Its growth was caused by the increased demand in production applications, where the company’s solutions provide "cost and functional advantages" to clients from different industries.
  • The company's metal printing systems and proprietary automation software are a "leading solution for the repair of gas turbine components" in the aviation and energy industries.
  • Its additive manufacturing technology provides many advantages over traditional approaches. For example, it enables customers to add materials onto existing 3D parts and it supports a "wide range of functional materials and feature sizes."
  • It has over $30 million invested in product development, and has worked with industrial leaders and research organizations across different industries to deliver the best 3D printing quality.

Weaknesses

Opportunities

  • Between 2031 and 2038, additive manufacturing (AM) is expected to reach 50% of its market potential, and 100% of it between 2058 and 2065. This creates an opportunity for the company, which specializes in AM.
  • Many companies are using AM for the production of "low volume parts and concept models." Different colleges and schools are using this technology to turn ideas into physical models. These trends also represent an opportunity for the company.
  • The apparel industry is beginning to use 3D printing for production. New Balance and Adidas are examples of companies in this sector using 3D printing technology. In the near future, it could be possible to produce personalized garments through flexible, efficient, and local production which 3D printing companies will be able to provide.

Threats

  • 3D printing quality is always being questioned, as products could present "warping, stringing, gaps in the top layers, under-extrusion, over-extrusion, pillowing, layer-misalignment," etc. Also, the "raw materials that can be used for 3D printers are still rather limited."
  • Companies that work with large scale 3D printers involve occupational health and safety risks for its employees, which concerns "gas and material exposures, material handling, static electricity, and moving parts and pressures," among other issues. This may be a threat for Optomec, as it may face lawsuits from large clients.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Romanoff specializes in the installation and training of 3D Systems Printers and our own proprietary 3D printers for lost wax casting, R & D applications and induction melting equipment for metal fabrication...Since 1949, we have successfully serviced the metal fabrication industry with the highest level of customer satisfaction. In our industry for the last 15-years, we are the top USA go-to company for 3D printing technology needs!"
Quotes
  • "3DPrint.com is a news organization dedicated to bringing you up to date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry. We source and share the latest news and additive manufacturing industry stories through investigative reporting, interviews, and on-the-ground experiences through conferences, site visits, and hands-on information."
Quotes
  • "3DPrinting.com was founded back in 2011 with the goal to be a leading global source for everything about 3D printing. We’re focusing on news and developments in the industry, but also on educational articles. We love to write guides, tutorials and use-cases that can really help you further with your specific 3D printing needs."
Quotes
  • "...the Tiger3D XHD offers the finest resolution of any 3D printer on the market today."
Quotes
  • "While others in its class can lay down 100- or 75-micron layers, the MJP 3600 gives the designer the choice of three different layer heights: XHD mode (16-microns or 1,600 dots per inch), UHD (29-microns/890 dpi) and HD (32-microns/790 dpi). Its overall accuracy of 25-microns makes it a good choice for those who require precise 3D prototyping and manufacturing. "
Quotes
  • "Serving Precious and Semi-Precious Metal Fabrication Industries Since 1949. Romanoff was established by Barney and Jessie Romanoff in 1949 in a small 300 square foot New York loft. Today, Romanoff is housed in a modern 40,000 square foot warehouse. We maintain a dedicated and experienced workforce that can answer your questions, complete your order and accommodate all of your needs in a World Class Manner. "
Quotes
  • "I have used other printers in the past and found Tiger3D to be the best machine around. I still have my old 3D printer, but the Tiger3D gets it every time. I can print everything on my Tiger with trust and confidence."
Quotes
  • "A complete 3D Production Solution. The most advanced high definition DLP 3D Printer in the industry."
Quotes
  • "Romanoff is evolving and would like you to be part of our Evolution. We are expanding and providing new modern technology for all Jewelry and Prototyping Manufacturing Business. "
Quotes
  • "We use cutting edge AI/ML technologies to help GTM teams stay laser-focused on the right markets and best opportunities to hit their number."
Quotes
  • "Romanoff International Supply Corp. 401K Profit Sharing Plan currently has fewer than 100 active participants and over $1.5M in plan assets. "
Quotes
  • "Precision and attention to detail are the key aspects of quality jewelry, which is exactly where 3D printing shines."
Quotes
  • "The most advanced 3D printing DLP system in the industry. Tiger3D printers set the standard for DLP high resolution. Its high-end LED DLP projector and proprietary technologies (PLS/FGT) provide the best resolution, requires less supports and improves accuracy."
Quotes
  • "Our executive sales team uses ZoomInfo to build lists, find more information about companies we're looking to partner with, and help us to identify the proper contacts/teams to work with."
Quotes
  • "The Form 3 prints with 25 micron XY resolution and 25-300 microns (user selectable) in the Z, using an 85-micron laser. Accuracy depends on many factors such as the print performance of an individual resin."
Quotes
  • "Accurate, Consistent, & Fast | In Stock Now!"
Quotes
  • "Created by Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based company, the Form 2 is the best desktop 3D printer that you can use for jewelry."
Quotes
  • "Formlabs, ​the designer and manufacturer of powerful and accessible 3D printing systems, today announced the launch of Form 2, the company’s second generation high-resolution, desktop stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer. The Form 2 brings bigger prints, smarter components, connected capabilities, and an intuitive printing experience to professionals."
Quotes
  • "(ABANDONED) IC 007. US 013 019 021 023 031 034 035. G & S: 3D printers. FIRST USE: 20161101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20161122"
Quotes
  • "A trademark falls into "nonuse" when a business stops using it and doesn't intend to continue use. Typically, the threshold for nonuse is three consecutive years. Once the trademark owner has technically abandoned the mark, third parties can begin to use it."
Quotes
  • "At Milo's Custom Jewelers, we delight our customers with high quality diamonds and sparkling jewelry, delivered with thoughtful service, at compelling values, to nurture long-term relationships which are grounded in trust, integrity and respect."