Rush said it’s crucial for manufacturing executives to understand the opportunities—like rapid prototyping and product development—as well as the limitations of additive manufacturing, such as slow production rate and limited materials.
Middle-market firms, especially those in the petrochemical sector, may find opportunities in developing new powders and resins used in additive manufacturing that they can sell to manufacturers, Rush said, expanding services beyond the printer.
There were few investor dollars in the cutting-edge vertical of space. But more financial tools are becoming available—from private equity and public exchanges—and juicing up M&A for midsize companies in the arena, according to Rush.
But he said investors looking to get into the space industry should focus on finding a “commonality of vision.”
“In the space industry, there are a lot of folks who are incredibly intelligent and could make a lot more money doing something else,” he said. “But they have a vision for this grand space future. So, sharing that vision and understanding how the product or solution set that they brought into the universe fits into that, and seeing how we together can move the needle in a profitable way is always really impactful.”