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1 Unexpected Company Poised to Dominate 3D Printing

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Image source: Alcoa.

Nothing big yet

Although printing aerospace parts isn't new, it is begining to -- pardon the pun -- take off, but this business doesn't have much of an impact on Alcoa's top or bottom line today. In fact, it's probably more of a cost center right now than a revenue driver. For example, the company spent roughly $60 million late last year to expand a research and development center so it could speed up its 3D printing plans, and the Airbus deal is the first notable agreement since that investment.

If you're looking at 3D printing as an investment theme, though, you should definitely include Alcoa in your list of companies to watch -- noting that the Arconic spinoff will eventually be the home for this business. But don't expect 3D printing to be the driving force behind Arconic's results -- at least not for a while.

Still, if Alcoa/Arconic can prove out its Ampliforge technology, showing that there is a real advantage in quality, there could be a big future for it in the 3D space -- at least in the aerospace niche. That would include parts-making directly, but it could also involve licensing its technology and supplying the "inks" used in metal printers. And, from a bigger-picture perspective, the aerospace testing ground could easily make Alcoa into a quality leader in other areas, too.

A secret billion-dollar stock opportunity

The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early, in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here .

Reuben Brewer has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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