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Stock soars for RP equipment maker

We've often written about rapid manufacturing as both a threat and an opportunity for the plastics processing industry. I'd argue that it is critical for injection molders who specialize in low-volume work to understand the process' capabilities; companies capable of offering rapid manufacturing via layered build-up processes such as selective laser sintering are very swiftly finding those molders' customers.

Proof of RP/RM's growing power in the manufacturing world appeared this week in the Wall Street Journal, which reported here that Stratysys "shares soared to an all-time high Tuesday after the maker of rapid protyping systems said it has signed an agreement to make a Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) branded 3D printer." Shareholders of Stratasys stock saw a pleasant 37% jump in their shares' prices.

Stratasys sent a press release on the project which reads in part, "Used by product designers and architects, Stratasys 3D printers create three-dimensional plastic models directly from 3D digital designs."

Stratasys will develop and manufacture for HP an exclusive line of 3D printers based on Stratasys' patented Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. "We believe the time is right for 3D printing to become mainstream," said Stratasys Chairman and CEO Scott Crump.

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