It's the end of Rapid 2013 week and TCT Magazine has been reporting live from the event in Pittsburgh and from the slightly less glamorous TCT Towers in Cheshire. Guess where I was.
But it's not all bad, Rapid has churned up fresh interest in 3D printing on the stock market and our Big Three look set to end the week on a rally, not least because rumours are still abound that MakerBot could be in the headlines when the next big acquisition story rolls around - although this is all speculation at this point in time. But speculation is fun. TCT Magazine's editorial and sales teams have even been placing friendly bets on who the alleged prospective acquirer could be.
So just how are our big three set to end the week's trading? And how much have these stocks changed now we're halfway through the year?
The industry giant announced on Wednesday (June 12th) that it was buying Phenix Systems.
The company has signed an agreement to acquire approximately 80 per cent of leading global provider of Direct Metal Selective Laser Sintering 3D printers. This acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and it expected to be completed next month.
Buoyed by this news, shares in 3D Systems are set to close up by more than two per cent at $47.50 per unit. This is not much more impressive than the company's share price at the start of the year - which was just north of $45 - but is still head and shoulders higher than June 2012, when shares were valued at less than $20 per unit.
Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) is at the centre of the MakerBot acquisition speculation and the blogs and news articles suggesting the 3D printing industry giant - which completed its notable merger with Objet in December 2012 - is the mystery, rumoured buyer-to-be.
Right now, shares in Stratasys have rallied by 1.2 per cent to $84.25 per unit, which is roughly the same as the company's share price was in the New Year. But, like 3D Systems, this is still much higher than mid-June 2012, when Stratasys was bumping along the $45-$47 mark.
Currently, ExOne is up by 1.1 per cent - a share price of $52.58 - which is almost double where its stock was when it debuted on the NASDAQ back in February 2013.
Now ExOne is better established on the stock market, we can start seeing its movements smooth out a little and we can determine more from peaks and troughs than when it was a newcomer.
Renishaw suffered a dip in late April, which the manufacturing giant has not succeeded in recovering from entirely. When the New Year arrived, Renishaw peaked to 2081.00p per unit, but has not broken the 2000.00p ceiling since, instead, scudding along at less than 1800.00p from May into June.
In other news…
Just a footnote to the market roundup, folks. I've been tinkering away at TCT's Facebook page over the past week and bringing it up to date. If you already like us then please give it a gander, if not then find us and have a look. I'll be keeping the page totally updated from now on so it'll be a great resource for news, communicating with us at the magazine and connecting with the 3D printing community. Watch this space for an official re-launch along with the launch of our new page for Personalize.