3D Systems, the world’s leading supplier of additive manufacturing solutions, was founded in 1986 in Valencia, California by Chuck Hull, its first patent holder in stereolithography rapid prototyping. The company, expanded steadily over the next ten years, chalking up 2013 revenues of over 300 million dollars. But by 2013 there were more than 30 major 3D printing companies fighting for market share. 3D Systems and its main competitor, the Israeli company Stratasys, held a combined market share of 37% split almost evenly and marketed products in all the same areas.
But the even bigger threat came from large multi-business firms such as HP, which publicly stated its intention to enter the 3D printing market. HP had the potential to leverage strong brand recognition and a vast distribution network to quickly penetrate the home consumer 3D printing market.