The Best Way to Invest in Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) 3D Printing Breakthrough

The 3D printing field has been around for many years now, yet it remains relatively young in its potential for handing tech investors outsized gains.

This is one of the tech sector's most exciting fields, one I believe offers plenty of long-term upside.

Indeed, I believe there is one company poised for a fresh breakout.

Its cutting-edge technology and management team are so strong that it led to a formidable new alliance with a technology player whose name is synonymous with growth and profits.

This company's stock is heading higher, so let's get right to its story and profit...

This Marriage of Tech Companies Will Produce a Profit Surge

If there is one thing I've learned over the course of my long career analyzing tech companies, it's how to discover the hidden plays with a bona fide tech giant like Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) that most investors miss.

You'd be hard pressed to find a company that knows more about sophisticated technology than Google.

After all, this is the company that hired the most noted futurist on the planet and prominent inventor, Ray Kurzweil. He was enlisted to help with Google X, the secretive R&D house that has now spawned projects like the driverless car and Project Glass, the state of the art in wearable tech.

It just shows the range of projects Google has backed from home automation to contact lenses with important medical uses for diabetics. Not to mention the Android operating system for smartphones.

But many of its partners are not yet publicly traded.

All the more reason why savvy tech investors need to take a close look at one of its partners, a 3D printing company.

You see, Google sees 3D printing as an innovative and cost-effective way to build parts to support their many businesses.

For example, for more than a year now, Google has been heavily investing in a 3D printing endeavor called Project Ara.

It is a complex idea, but basically it boils down to one thing: the marriage of innovative 3D printing technology with the mobile revolution.

Conceptually, Project Ara's focus is to create modular smartphones with parts made from 3D printers. It is also an open hardware platform free for developers to design and manufacture modular smartphones of their own.

This sort of platform will shrink the market's dependence on larger smartphone manufacturers that rely on the Android operating system. In turn, it will create a breeding ground for thousands of independent developers to create phone hardware with a lower cost of entry.

Project Ara is specifically focused on the modular aspect of smartphones (that is, the combining of components), which is where 3D printing becomes especially integral. Here's why:

3D printers are being used to make the module enclosures for Project Ara smartphones. This allows users to replace specific modules in order to update the device's features in lieu of buying an entirely new phone.  

And that's where 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) comes into play. The company has not only partnered with Google on Project Ara, but in its own right 3D Systems has made quite a name for itself, and it's value is about to climb...

Here's Why Google Chose 3D Systems

3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D printing solutions including printers, materials, and custom parts to industry, small business, and consumers.

But in order to truly understand the future potential of this company, you must go back to its roots.

3D Systems was co-founded by visionary innovator Chuck Hull. He invented and patented much of the groundwork that the 3D printing industry uses today, including the idea of rapid prototyping. This idea has become the foundation for Project Ara.

In all, 3D Systems has more than 400 patents, and many are branches of Hull's work. In the 1980s, Hull first wrote software that enabled the 3D printer to communicate with the desktop computer.

The original software code he wrote for 3D Systems is still used and expanded on throughout the industry.

More importantly here, Hull invented the stereolithography process of producing layer-by-layer models, parts, and rapid prototypes. This additive manufacturing technology is the basis for much of how the 3D printing world operates today.

Stereolithography is being tried on a spectrum of different projects, from producing replacement bicycle parts and accessories, to now creating modular smartphones.

And that is where Google and 3D Systems come together on Project Ara. Google had its pick to work with any company in 3D printing but it chose 3D Systems.

As is often the case, Google is such a powerful and far-flung empire that it can choose the very best partners in any given field.

Earlier this year Google valued work done by Nest Labs Inc. so much, it bought the maker of "smart thermostats" and smoke detectors for $3.2 billion. Google has also invested in Uber, the revolutionary new way to hail a chauffeur on a mobile device. Google has partnered with these smaller niche companies to expand its ever-growing stable of innovative projects.

Both companies see it as the perfect union of two rapidly advancing, consumer-driven industries.

In fact, Chuck Hull put it best when he said, "The combination of exponential creation technology with exponential information technology translates to unprecedented capability and adaptability for the consumer."

How prescient, indeed - the first modular smartphone with 3D printed parts is expected to cost around $50 and be released early next year. The timing couldn't be better for this profit opportunity...

The "Hidden" Play to Make Right Now Is DDD

Google is an excellent company in its own right. But I have found that a savvy way to "invest" in a juggernaut of this nature is to find the hidden plays that most investors miss.

Google is undoubtedly looking to more actively use 3D printing concepts for other areas of its empire which will increase the potential for 3D Systems' applications in its Google alliance.

The cards are lining up here for 3D Systems as a potential takeover candidate.

Now, I never recommend investing as a potential takeover candidate purely out of speculation. However, we know that Google is an acquisitive firm that loves to buy smaller companies to further its growth.

In other words, there is the long-term opportunity for Google to increase its relationship with 3D Systems either to buy more products or to buy the company outright.  

3D Systems currently trades at around $53.50, and the price is likely to jump considerably if Project Ara is as big a smash hit next year as I fully expect it to be.

And after that, the profits will continue rolling in...

We're going to take some great profits from 3D printing's potential. But that's not the only trend Michael's looking at right now. In fact, he's about to pull the trigger on some exciting new technologies that are going to play an increasingly powerful role in our lives - and the markets. To get all of Michael's latest tech stock picks, click here.

About the Author

Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...

  • He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
  • He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
  • As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.

This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.

In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.

Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.

And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.

Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.

To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.

His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.

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