3D stocks have been on a tear over the last 12 months, but analysts don’t believe it has been because of major innovation happening within the industry, which has been around for three decades. According to CNBC, many analysts note that customers and investors have simply been paying more attention to these companies because of the shift into consumer 3D printers They say that shift has been what has really driven share prices.

3D Systems Corporation 3D Stocks

3D Systems, Stratasys shares rise

Shares of 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) have climbed more than 120% this past year, while shares of Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) have risen over 98%. ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE) has also received a big boost and, in fact, is up nearly 5% today as well. Voxeljet AG (ADR) (NYSE:VJET) is also up today, by nearly 6%.

Econolyst managing director Phil Reeves told CNBC though that investors should watch which 3D printing companies they invest in because all are not alike. He noted that the stocks of all the companies in this category appear to be linked, and as one goes up, they all go up, and vice versa. However, he noted that when looking at each company’s business models, they don’t have much to do with each other. Each has a different type of customer base and dynamics from the next, so when one stock reacts, the others probably should be reacting as well.

Smaller companies dominate 3D Systems

This week investors have been watching 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) very carefully because it reports earnings tomorrow. The company has been of particular interest for those interested in 3D stocks, as it has one of the most robust portfolios in the industry. However, analysts have also pointed to numerous challenges facing the company.

Reeves told CNBC that 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and others like it “are becoming jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none.” He said they’re not actually the leader in the market for any of the categories they are in. In fact, he notes that some smaller companies, like EOS, a privately held company based in Germany, are more dominant than 3D Systems even though more have heard of 3D Systems. He said EOS is one of the market leaders in metal printers and exceeds 3D systems in both technology and industrial sales.

He also believes that Voxeljet AG (ADR) (NYSE:VJET)’s technological advances in the industry segment could have negative impacts on both 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and EOS. However, he said Voxeljet’s technology is dependent upon MIT patent technology which expires in three years, thus making it possible for other companies to get in on that part of the segment.