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Industrial 3D printing and additive manufacturing company Stratasys has struck a deal with Bre Pettis’ MakerBot to merge in a stock-for-stock transaction. Once finished, MakerBot will act as a subsidiary of Stratasys.

The idea is that this merging will accelerate the development of desktop 3D printers, especially as more professionals are using MakerBots for CAD work. The merger includes acquisition of Thingiverse, Makerware software, MakerBot filament, their retail store, the MakerBot 3D Photo Booth, as well as all strategic corporate partnerships.

In response to news of the merger, Stratasys CEO David Reis says,

MakerBot’s 3D printers are rapidly being adopted by CAD-trained designers and engineers. Bre Pettis and his team at MakerBot have built the strongest brand in the desktop 3D printer category by delivering an exceptional user experience. MakerBot has impressive products, and we believe that the company’s strategy of making 3D printing accessible and affordable will continue to drive adoption. I am looking forward to working with Bre.

MakerBot was begun as a company based on open-source hardware. Recently they have wavered on that initial stance, and there is no word at this time on whether that will change or not, although the announcement noted, “Stratasys and MakerBot will jointly develop and implement strategies for building on their complementary strengths, intellectual property and technical know-how, and other unique assets and capabilities.”

Bre did have this to say about the merger:

The last couple of years have been incredibly inspiring and exciting for us. We have an aggressive model for growth, and partnering with Stratasys will allow us to supercharge our mission to empower individuals to make things using a MakerBot, and allow us to bring 3D technology to more people. I am excited about the opportunities this combination will bring to our current and future customers.

MakerBot and Stratasys will host a News Conference at MakerBot’s headquarters located at One MetroTech Center (Jay Street) 21st Floor, Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To attend, please contact Jenifer Howard at jenifer.howard@makerbot.com. The event can be accessed live at http://www.makerbot.com; and an archive will be made available at http://mbot.co/press062013.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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Comments

  1. Jim Bob says:

    Another Hipster sellout :(

    1. Brad says:

      In stark contrast to your comment, congrats to Makerbot, and “Yay for Capitalism!” :)

      1. Jim Bob says:

        Started open-source which is one of the reasons makers like it and support it.
        Am all for making money, good on them but at what expense to the user base.
        How long will it be before the patents and Ip Bs starts?
        Hopefully this will not happen and things will continue as before
        Capitalism the thing that makes America great.

  2. hudbrogbrog says:

    Nobody would care if it was not for Thingiverse.. I’d like to hear Stratasys’s plans for that resource =)

    1. Protoneer says:

      I totally agree. ;)

    2. Leu10egger says:

      Agreed.

    3. rocketguy1701 says:

      +1

  3. I wrote about this happening on my 3D stock investment blog 2 days ago, so not surprised. It happened a little faster than I thought though! A good fit for both companies I think.

  4. haqnmaq (Ryan Branch) says:

    I can’t say I’m too happy about this. I understand that they need to grow, and that takes money, but Makerbot seems to have forgoten where they came from. I still remember Bre on weekend projects with Zach Hoeken designing and building a rep-strap. Then I remember the announcement of the Cupcake CNC with Adam Mayer, and remember watching it fall apart on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. A couple months later, I purchased a Cupake CNC. I understand that being closed source allows for better control over the product, and a better user experience for begginers. I know you need something like that to grow the home 3d printing market, but one of the reasons they started it was because they couldn’t afford one of the more expensive (Statasys)3d printers. Now Makerbot sells to a company that would rather throw lawsuits around over I.P., then help with the inovation of 3d printers, like what you get with open-source and thousands of people sharing their ideas. I wonder how long it will be before Makerbot has disputes (or lawsuits) with open-source 3d printer companies. I really wasn’t worried when Makerbot went closed-source, because I knew they were maker-oreintated, and they still are. I am just worried about how Stratasys will deal with the open-source market. I know Bre is the only one left of the 3 founders, but Bre used to always say “Sharing is Caring”, I just hope Makerbot can still live up to that original idea. Time will ultimately tell whether this was the right move or not, but I haven’t lost all hope…..not yet anyway.

  5. Rex Brodie says:

    Dissolvable support material for dual extrusion PLEASE !!!

  6. rocketguy1701 says:

    The phrase “youth and skill are no match for old age and treachery” comes to mind.

    MakerBot had already jumped the shark anyway with it’s “we can’t compete so we’re going closed source” move, and is now just completing it’s journey into the dark side of corporate leechdom. I say this as a Rep 1 owner, which at the time was a good idea. Now, there are better products out in the space by companies that are still open source/hardware.

    Makerbot is likely trying to become the Apple of 3D printing, which trivializes the technology into a consumer product, exactly what it was trying to get away from in the first place.

  7. Kegs says:

    I have been looking at either a Makerbot 2x or 3D Systems CubeX- frankly the main drawback for the Maketbot was the lack of a large corporate backer- I did not know if they would be around in 2 years, so Stratasys backing helps that in my mind. On the other hand, I don’t know if any of the products I am looking at will be supported in 2 years..

    1. Shortz says:

      Great point. Not everyone who buys a 3D printer wants to be a electronics/hardware/software superuser/geek; they just want a printer that works.

      Nothing wrong with ethical capitalism.

  8. 00james says:

    All good things must come to an end.

  9. ben says:

    makerbot is now makerbought

  10. Todd W. says:

    These guys have made incredible contributions to open source hardware. Those contributions don’t go away. There are still open source hardware companies out there. Let these guys cash in. Someone else can take the open source baton for a while. (and then *they* can cash in.)