Another Way to Play the 3D Printing Boom: Invest in Media that Covers the Industry

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One lightly traded stock making a big move today is Mediabistro Inc. (NASDAQ: MBIS), an Internet media company that offers a variety of services in a number of vertical media markets. The company today announced a strategic investment in 3dprintingindustry.com, a media firm that covers the hot 3D printer market. No financial details were provided.

The two companies plan to produce a series of trade shows called Inside 3D Printing in a number of cities around the world. The first show from the two companies is scheduled for March in Berlin, followed by shows in New York, Saõ Paulo, Seoul, Melbourne, Shenzhen, and Santa Clara. 3dprintingindustry.com has sponsored previous 3D printing events on its own.

The companies also promise to offer the Internet’s first online job board specifically for the 3D printing industry.

While only the publicly traded 3D printing firms get much notice, there are perhaps dozens of others working on products in the field. One of those, Microboards Technology of Chanhassen (Minnesota), is being sued by industry biggie Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) which Tuesday filed a suit against the small company seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting sales of Microboards’ Afinia 3D printer. Stratasys said this is the first time in its 24-year history that it has filed a patent-infringement suit.

The low-cost, consumer oriented Afinia Series H printer competes with the MakerBot system that Stratasys recently acquired, and the patented technology Stratasys is seeking to protect is used in many other 3D printers according to 3dprintingindustry.com. The implications of this lawsuit could be game-changing, no matter which company emerges with a victory.

Shares of Stratasys are up about 0.2% in mid-afternoon trading Tuesday at $118.10 in a 52-week range of $60.20 to $134.00.

Mediabistro’s shares are up 85% at $4.05 after posting a new 52-week high of $5.43 earlier today. The stock’s 52-week low is $0.80.

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