Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The New High School Shop Class

Sherwood High School in Oregon bought themselves a $30,000 3D printer and now John Niebergall’s advanced shop class is covetted class to get into.

“We need to continue to educate our students that engineers are and will remain in very high demand in Oregon and the United States and that we are at risk of losing our edge in innovation in the global market if recent trends continue.”

Brooks says Niebergall’s program, which combines traditional shop classes like woodworking with high tech software and 3D printers “is a shining example of how you can get kids interested in the engineering field.”

“It is fun and remains very lucrative,” Brooks says of the field he chose for his own career path. “Especially for students that continue on to a four-year engineering college program.”

Last year, Jonathan Crompton of Sherwood High School won the Dimension 3D Printing Group Redesign contest. Now, Sherwood's Ben Foley is one of the 3 finalists in this year's competition. A $2,500 scholarship is the prize!

I believe this opens up a whole new market for Dimension 3D. Imagine if every high school across America gets one of their printers ... that's thousands of units!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dimension 3D Printing Redesign Contest Finalists

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Dimension 3D Printing Group, a business unit of Stratasys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSYS), announced today the nine finalists for its fourth annual “Extreme Redesign: The Ultimate 3D Printing Challenge,” a global design and 3D printing contest for high school and college students.

The nine finalists were chosen from a pool of more than 800 design entries worldwide. Entries fall in to one of three categories: High School, University and the newly added, Art and Architecture category. The three first place category winners will receive $2,500 scholarships. The remaining finalists each will receive $1,000 scholarships.

Finalists and Category Details

The final contestants from the high school category are Ashley Bredemus (Rubik’s Sphere for the Blind) of Grand Rapids High School in Grand Rapids, Minn.; Kyle Olbrich (The Eggcinerator) of Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; and in his second consecutive year as a finalist, Zach Stephens (Triple Play Light Bulb) of Westfield High School in Carmel, Ind.

Final contestants from the University category are Ashley Lemon (Public Seating) of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis, Minn.; Nate Moren (Flat Door Stop) of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis, Minn.; and George Suarez (Solar Powered Water Desalination Unit) of the University of California Davis in Davis, Calif.

Final contestants in the Art and Architecture category are Benjamin Foley (Redesigned Lave Lamp) of Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Ore.; Nicole Redcross (Mrs. Redcross 2226) of Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Essiah Underwood (Bfly Fan) of Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Announcement of Winners

The three winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 20 at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) Rapid 2008 Conference and Exposition in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The announcement will be made at the opening of the conference. Immediately following the May 20 announcement, an in-depth web video profiling the three winning students and their designs will be on Dimension’s Web site.

“Our fourth annual Extreme Redesign contest has again been an exciting competition with impressive designs coming from all categories,” said Jon Cobb, vice president and general manager of 3D printing for Stratasys. “I want to thank all those who participated in the contest and I look forward to May 20 when we announce the winners in each of the three categories at SME’s Rapid 2008.”

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stratasys Reports Record First Quarter Financial Results

Q1 Operating Profit Increases 24%

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 1, 2008--Stratasys, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSYS) today announced record first quarter financial results. The results and financial guidance have been adjusted to reflect the two-for-one stock split completed in August, 2007.

Revenues rose to $30.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008 over the $27.3 million reported for the same period in 2007. Revenue from proprietary products and services increased by 16% over the same period last year. System shipments totaled a record 577 units for the first quarter of 2008, the highest quarterly unit shipments in the company's history.

GAAP net income increased 20% to $3.8 million for the first quarter, or $0.18 per share, compared to GAAP net income of $3.2 million, or $0.15 per share, for the same period in 2007.

Stock-based compensation expense required under Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) 123R was approximately $261,000 net of tax, or $0.01 per share for the first quarter of 2008, and approximately $212,000 net of tax, or $0.01 per share, for the same period in 2007. The reconciliation between this non-GAAP adjustment and our GAAP financial measures is provided in a table at the end of this press release.

The first quarter of 2008 also included an impairment charge of approximately $257,000 net of tax, or $0.01 per share. This non-operating charge is an adjustment to the fair value of an auction rate security investment that became illiquid as a result of a failed auction.

"We are very pleased with our strong first quarter financial performance, especially in light of the prevailing concerns over a weakening global economy," said Scott Crump, chairman and chief executive officer of Stratasys. "Our margins improved significantly over last year, a result of strong sales of new products. Approximately 80% of our total system revenue was generated from products introduced since the start of 2007.

"Our first quarter system sales represented the highest level, in terms of units and revenue, for any quarter in our company's history. In addition, growth in operating profit of 24% was our fastest growth in operating profit within the past year. The first quarter results were led by the standout performance of our proprietary high-end system business, which grew by 29% over last year, our fastest growing business during the quarter.

"The high-end system business benefited from strong demand for our new products, driven in part by new opportunities from customers using our systems for direct digital manufacturing (DDM) applications, or the manufacture of end-use parts. DDM applications represent incremental growth to our traditional design applications. Our introduction of the FDM 900mc in December of 2007 directly targets this sizable new market opportunity, and we are increasingly excited about this emerging market.

"3D printer revenue increased by 19% during the first quarter, driven by the successful introduction of our premium-priced Dimension 1200es line in February, as well as the relatively strong demand for our higher-priced Dimension Elite. We were pleasantly surprised that our premium 3D printers represented approximately 89% of 3D printer units sold during the first quarter, a more favorable product mix than we had anticipated.

"Favorable product mix was a major factor in our margin expansion during the quarter, as higher average printer prices combined with relatively stable printer manufacturing costs. The success of the new 1200es and resulting product mix trends demonstrate an opportunity to expand the 3D printer market by improving system functionality and performance. These growth opportunities supplement our longer-term strategy of growing the market by making the systems more affordable.

"Although total order volume in our paid parts business increased by 26% in the first quarter, total revenue declined by 12% versus last year. The comparison to the first quarter of 2007 was exceptionally difficult for our paid parts business, as we generated several large orders, which enhanced revenue during the 2007 period. We continue to evaluate and improve upon our sales and marketing efforts for our paid parts service, and have seen a recent increase in first-time orders.

"Our proprietary consumables business grew by 14% during the first quarter. The new ABSplus material offered on the Dimension Elite and 1200es lines has improved the functionality of our 3D printers, and has been well received by our customers. Although quarter-over-quarter consumable growth can be impacted by the timing and shipment of distributor purchases, the growth trend remains the same. We expect the growth in consumable revenue will accelerate from first quarter levels as we move through the balance of 2008.

"Although we have observed some small signs of weakness in our domestic markets, overall we continue to experience strong global demand for our products. The trends are similar to the conditions that leading companies within the CAD software space have reported, suggesting the market for 3D products remains under penetrated and ripe for growth. It's worth noting that international sales of proprietary products and services increased 23% during the first quarter, versus a 10% increase in domestic sales.

"Following our first quarter performance, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our goals for 2008, as excitement surrounding our new products remains high. We look forward to a very successful year," Crump concluded.