3-D printing struggles to enter mainstream

Angela Johnson
An attendee photographs a Stratasys Ltd. 3D printer during a CES show.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Stratasys plunged more than 33 percent Tuesday after the 3-D printer maker cut its fiscal 2014 guidance for the second time and its 2015 guidance is below estimates.

The company is also writing down a $100 million to $110 million goodwill impairment charge for its MakerBot unit, acquired in 2013 for $403 million.

Stratasys said it anticipates fiscal 2014 revenue in the range of $748 to $750 million, down from its Q3 November guidance of $750 to $770 million.

"Other than some of these cool examples, when does 3-D printing go mainstream?" Guy Kawasaki, Former Apple chief evangelist told CNBC on Tuesday. "I understand you can 3-D print food. That's kind of a stretch for me."

The scope of possibilities associated with 3-D have yet to be realized, but the purpose and functionality of 3-D printing in day-to-day life remains a challenge.

"The fact that someone can 3-D print a car doesn't mean you're gonna do it," Kawasaki said. "So it may be that we're just a little bit too early to see what's really gonna happen there."

Shares in other 3-D printing companies fell in sympathy with Stratasys. Shares of Voxeljet fell around 6 percent, while shares of 3D Systems dropped around 8 percent Tuesday.

Elon Musk's idea of a fully electric vehicle was considered a radical idea at one time, however the vehicles have been widely accepted by the public. Kawasaki does not see 3-D printing following in Tesla's footsteps.

"When you go out on a street in many cosmopolitan areas you see a bunch of Teslas, but how many of us can say we have a 3-D printer or we bought something that was 3-D printed? That's a little bit more of a stretch."