Nine years ago, Makerbot was acquired by Stratasys in a deal just north of 600 million. It was thought at the time that Makerbot’s relatively affordable desktop 3D printer line would help Stratis expand its reach in the hobby market, but in the end, the company disappeared from the hacker and maker scene. Many in the vicinity of these parts were not sad to see them go – abandoning the company’s open source policies, MacBoot had already gone out of the community’s favor by going through a buyout.
So today’s announcement that MakerBot and Ultimaker have agreed to merge into a new 3D printing company is a bit of a surprise, if not something else, since MakerBot seemed to have evolved into a so-called “zombie brand” some time ago. It was explained at a press conference this afternoon that the new company would actually come out of Stratasis and although the American-Israeli manufacturer would still own a large part of the unnamed company, it would act as its own independent entity. .
At the press conference, McArbot CEO Nadav Goshen and UltimateMaker CEO Jগrgen von Hollen explained that the plan was to maintain the company’s respective product line, but at the same time, to expand into what they described as an unnecessary “light industry” market. By combining the technology and experience of their two companies, the consolidated entity will be uniquely positioned to deliver the highest level of reliability and performance that customers will claim at their estimated $ 10,000 to $ 20,000 USD price point.
When MakerBot announced a 2018 6,500 refund for their new Method 3D printer in 2018, it was clear that their focus was on a different class of clientele. But now that the consolidated company is putting its development efforts into machines with five-digit price tags, there is no denying that the home-gamer market is officially in their rear-view mirror. That said, there was absolutely no information about the technology that would actually enter printers, although given their combined commercial experience, it looks like these future machines will use some sort of fused deposit modeling (FDM).
Now we hate to draw with a very wide brush, but we assume that the average hacked reader is not on the market for a 3D printer that is priced like a decent used car. But under the umbrella of this new print collection there’s a great chance you might be interested in at least two features: MacBook’s Thingiverse and UltimateMaker’s Cura Slicer. At the press conference, it was made clear that everyone involved recognized both projects as essential outreach tools, and that part of the কোম্প 62.4 million cash investment that the new company was going to receive was specifically set aside for their continued development and improvement.
We won’t beat around the bush – Thingiverse has been embarrassing for years, even before they leaked the account information of a quarter of a million users because of their old back-end. A modern 3D model repository run by a company that the community doesn’t publicly dislike has been on the list of favorites of many hackers for some time now, but we’re not against turning the service around by a sudden cash flow. We’ll be happy to see more funds go the way of Cura, unless it’s involved in aggressive management that is causing headaches for Audacity users. The hope is that the new companies, whatever they may be, will not forget the promises they have made to the community – because we will not do that.