6 Cutting-Edge Companies That Specialize In 3D Printing

Technology has come a long way, to the point where we can now physically print everything from toys to clothes to medical devices and prosthetic body parts. While the 3D printing processes that make this possible are still in their early stages, a number of companies have emerged as dedicated innovators of the technology. The ones listed here are all working to push the limits of what can be accomplished in this quickly growing industry. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Innovative Companies Focused on 3D Printing

Name Specialty
Protolabs Rapid prototyping and on-demand production with a quick turnaround, with processes including direct metal laser sintering, carbon DLS, multi-jet fusion, and more
Sculpteo Professional online 3D printing and laser cutting services, including 75 different combinations of printing materials and finishings
Nano Dimension Equipment used for electronics such as autonomous intelligent drones, cars, satellites, and in vivo medical devices
Luxexcel An original additive manufacturing process for ophthalmic lenses, offering laboratories the possibility of creating custom prescription parts for customer segments
Carbon 3D printing solutions for individual industries, creating many different applications for its modern design process
PADT Numerical simulation, product development, and various 3D printing products and services

The Process of 3D Printing

Cool 3D Products on the Market

Behind the Scenes of Luxexcel's 3D-Printed Lenses

In Depth

The various processes gathered under the umbrella of 3D Printing, which creates three-dimensional products through additive manufacturing from computer-aided design models, has remade traditional forms of fabrication and design. This list, presented in no particular order, looks at six companies that specialize in various aspects of the business.

At #1, Protolabs offers rapid prototyping and on-demand production with a turnaround as short as one day. The company was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Larry Lukis, who wanted to reduce the time it took to get injection-molded prototype parts. In 2014, it launched industrial-grade 3D printing services to allow product developers, designers, and engineers an easier path to move from early prototyping to low-volume production.

The company offers 3D printing services in a variety of processes, including direct metal laser sintering, carbon DLS, multi-jet fusion, selective laser sintering, and polyjet. They work with materials including plastic, metal, and elastomer and LSR. Protolabs collaborates with businesses in multiple industries, like medical device manufacturing, aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial equipment.

They work with materials including plastic, metal, and elastomer and LSR.

#2 is Sculpteo. With headquarters in Villejuif, just outside Paris, and San Francisco, the company provides professional online 3D printing and laser cutting services for on-demand production of prototypes, individual products, as well as short-run manufacturing. It's got factories in both the United States and Europe, offering quick turnaround and worldwide delivery.

Sculpteo offers over 75 different combinations of 3D printing materials and finishings, as well as the online optimization tools required to turn a file into a physical object. The company promises to work quickly at affordable rates in creating functional prototypes. It also creates finished products with its additive manufacturing processes, with a variety of applications across industries.

Coming in at #3, Nano Dimension produces intelligent machines for the fabrication of additively manufactured electronics. The equipment it manufactures is essential for the production of electronics like autonomous intelligent drones, cars, satellites, smartphones, and in vivo medical devices. The company maintains a blog that tracks updates and trends in the industry.

The company maintains a blog that tracks updates and trends in the industry.

The company's signature product is the DragonFly 3D printer. A one-stop solution for the additive manufacturing of electronics, it integrates a precise inkjet deposition printer with dedicated nano-inks and optimized 3D software. A companion machine, the DragonFly LDM, offers a similar process for the production of electronic circuitry, using round-the-clock Lights-Out technology.

The #4 entry is Luxexcel, a pioneer in 3D printed optical devices that developed an original additive manufacturing process for ophthalmic lenses. The company's technology offers laboratories the possibility of creating custom prescription parts for specialty customer segments. The early applications center around the opportunities presented by prisms, high prescriptions, trifocals, occupational wear, and slab-offs.

The Luxexcel VisionPlatform includes the 3D printer, software, and lens printing material. The company works with partners on development projects to create unique products. The additive manufacturing process allows for the fabrication of fully customized lenses and the addition of prescriptions to all kinds of smart technology.

The company works with partners on development projects to create unique products.

For #5, it's Carbon. Its mission is to enable companies to craft what the world needs by combining innovations in software, hardware, and materials to deliver breakthrough products that improve human well-being, transform industries, and change the world. The company and its foundational technology, Carbon Digital Light Synthesis, were unveiled in a 2015 TED Talk.

Carbon tailors 3D printing solutions to individual industries, creating an array of different applications for its modern design process. The company has developed hardware, such as printers and washers. Its original software platform gives users control over every stage of manufacturing. It also makes materials that feature the widest range of properties in additive production processes.

Closing things out at #6, PADT is a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services. Made up of experienced engineers, sales people, technicians, and administrators, the company sells and supports software and hardware for engineering.

Made up of experienced engineers, sales people, technicians, and administrators, the company sells and supports software and hardware for engineering.

PADT's Stratasys 3D printers offer professional systems in all shapes and sizes. Its Desktop Metal machine was created to change the way companies bring products to market with metal 3D printing. In addition to selling products, the company provides additive manufacturing services, including rapid prototyping.