MakerBot, the company that became a leading voice in desktop 3D printing by taking desktop additive manufacturing from build-it-yourself kits to refined consumer devices, has just let go of 20% of its workforce and closed its brick-and-mortar stores.
According to reporting by Motherboard, the reduction represents about 100 employees of the Brooklyn-based company that launched in 2009 and was later purchased in 2013 by industrial 3D printing giant Stratasys for $403 million. During that time, the company has made changes of original and key personnel, most recently seeing founder and CEO Bre Pettis stepping down to take a new position with Stratasys, and his successor Jenny Lawton doing the same thing.
Still, this is by far the largest batch of layoffs for the company.
A new announcement on MakerBot’s website this afternoon explains, “Today, we at MakerBot are re-organizing our business in order to focus on what matters most to our customers. As part of this, we have implemented expense reductions, downsized our staff and closed our three MakerBot retail locations.”
Stratasys also announced a $100 million write-down on Makerbot’s valuation in February.
The now-shuttered brick-and-mortar stores, located in Manhattan, Boston, and Greenwich, Connecticut, followed an Apple Store model, with sales, demos, classes, and even providing in-store printing services. No news yet on their retail partnerships with outlets such as Home Depot.