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MakerBot Merging With Stratasys

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the layer-by-layer dept.

Businesses 65

MakerBot Industries, creators of the popular Thing-O-Matic and Replicator line of 3-D printers, is being acquired by Stratasys, a company that's been working on 3-D printing and production systems since 1989. '[Stratasys] facilitates the printing of prototypes, concepts, components, parts and more on an industrial scale and for commercial applications. ... Stratasys has demonstrated it’s going to be aggressive about owning the 3D printing space, and the MakerBot buy is the consumer-focused piece in that puzzle. For MakerBot, it gives the startup access to Stratasys’ wealth of industry experience.' According to the official news release, 'MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, maintaining its own identity, products and go-to-market strategy.' MakerBot has sold 11,000 of its Replicator 2 devices in the past 9 months, accounting for half of all its 3-D printer sales since 2009.

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65 comments

An Acquisition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44054457)

Hey, it worked for Linksys.

Patents? (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about 10 months ago | (#44054469)

Stratasys has some patents on 3D printing, so that might be relevant here. One of their more important patents is about making a 3D FDM printer (like the makerbot) with an enclosed build area. Nobody but stratasys is allowed to enclose the build area (existing printers normally have the build area open-air to avoid this patent). Obvious, yes, but nobody has bothered to challenge it yet.

Perhaps makerbot realized that if they wanted to continue to improve their product, they'd start running afoul of such patents, hence the merger?

Re:Patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44054533)

Their un-expired patent only covers a heated and enclosed build area, not all enclosed areas.

Re:Patents? (3, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 10 months ago | (#44055101)

Yeah, but almost any serious printing requires a heated print area, even if only for the first layers. Otherwise things cool off too fast.

Re:Patents? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44057777)

only abs printing needs that.. PLA, PET, nylon.. you don't need the heated bed.

the heated bed is just a hack anyways. try to print anything bigger than a finger and you pretty much want to have a heated area. if you close down the area the bed is in, you sort of get get that.

now the question is what happens with makerbot products. will they fix them or not? there's various ways in how they suck ass(I got a replicator 1 and no way in hell was it possible to out of the box print the stuff bre "suckass" pattis said on video it would print at the press of a button. it's an ok product if you don't mind fixing things and adding mods, tweaking firmware... building enclosure.. but it's still just reprap quality for 3 times the price and that was not what it was marketed as.. it was marketed as a product that could do solid 24h+ print jobs out of the box - also nobody in their right mind would leave it running alone for 24h).

Re:Patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44054541)

It's not like MakerBot ran down to Stratasys HQ, and said, merge us!

This was a calculated move by Stratasys to challenge upstarts like Formlabs.

Re:Patents? (1)

Max DollarCash (2874161) | about 10 months ago | (#44054567)

They have now aquired Makerbot and will keep it seperate, which means they can now start trolling other companies with their stratasys patents and keep selling under the Makerbot name avoiding backlash from the community in general.

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44054875)

I suspect that the community will not be so easily fooled (regarding patent protections). The patent suits were likely to occur regardless of who owns who (although now the obvious target of the first suit is no longer the target). In any event, there is going to be a massive fall-out in the 3D printer world, and only those with (big) money (and patents) behind them will survive. MakerBot choose to be acquired to survive.

its the software not the hardware (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#44056245)

who makes printers? hp? canon made the engines for hp printers.

the real battle will be software, and the rela patent fights will be software patents

fuck that noise (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#44057973)

1. open source 3d printers are here and kickstarting every few months

2. shitty us patents are invalid in plaxes like slovenia, pakistan, india, mongolia

3. open source 3d print software is not stopping. it is growing.

4. fuck these corporate motherfuckers, they are against progress

Re:Patents? (4, Informative)

Applekid (993327) | about 10 months ago | (#44055951)

They have now aquired Makerbot and will keep it seperate, which means they can now start trolling other companies with their stratasys patents and keep selling under the Makerbot name avoiding backlash from the community in general.

Makerbot has already sullied their name in the community by stealing from the Open Source guys, claiming credit for all home 3d printing innovation despite the existence of the Reprap project, and putting terms of service on their object repository Thingiverse that basically says, regardless of the license you select for the works you upload, you give them a permanent, irrevocable right to do whatever they want rights-wise with your stuff, including commercial use and only a "promise" in a blog that they won't violate that trust. Except, now, it's Stratasys's trust now. Ha.

Re:Patents? (1)

laird (2705) | about 10 months ago | (#44058461)

This is an absurd mis-representation. Given that both have been hashed over and discredited long ago, I'll post a correction to your errors:

First, MBI hasn't claimed "credit for all home 3d printing innovation despite the existence of the Reprap project" - they were formed specifically to commercialize the RepRap project, cooperatively with the RepRap project. MBI credits and links to the RepRap project, and vice versa. Almost all of MBI's software is FOSS (Skeinforge, Miracle Grue, Conveyor, Replicator G, firmware, etc.) with MBI starting several of those projects, and with MBI engineers contributing code into the open projects. It's all in GitHub, on the RepRap wiki, etc.

Second, they aren't "putting terms of service on their object repository Thingiverse that basically says, regardless of the license you select for the works you upload, you give them a permanent, irrevocable right to do whatever they want rights-wise with your stuff". The TOS gives them the rights, but you left off the limitation that the rights are granted only for the purposes of operating Thingiverse. If you didn't grant them any rights, they wouldn't have the right to serve the files that you upload to them to serve! You don't have to trust MBI or Stratasys, you have to be able to read the Thingiverse TOS without removing the limiting clauses then complaining that there are no limits!

Re:Patents? (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 10 months ago | (#44065819)

First, MBI hasn't claimed "credit for all home 3d printing innovation despite the existence of the Reprap project" - they were formed specifically to commercialize the RepRap project, cooperatively with the RepRap project. MBI credits and links to the RepRap project, and vice versa.

I guess you haven't seen any of Bre's world press tours. When he mentions Reprap, it's only with the context that he had trouble making it work and came up with the Cupcake because the Reprap sucks. Obvious paraphrasing aside, the message is clear. That Reprap project you might have heard about? Yeah, don't bother. Get a Makerbot.

Second, they aren't "putting terms of service on their object repository Thingiverse that basically says, regardless of the license you select for the works you upload, you give them a permanent, irrevocable right to do whatever they want rights-wise with your stuff". The TOS gives them the rights, but you left off the limitation that the rights are granted only for the purposes of operating Thingiverse.

Nice try.

Groundwork:

Company provides a service for users to share digital designs that can be printed on 3D printers to create physical objects (collectively, with all other services provided through the Site, the "Services").

So let's play rules parsing, shall we? "Services" is defined widely. It definitely includes the "sharing of digital designs that can be printed on 3D printers to create physical objects." But note it also states "collectively, with all other services". That means whatever services they offer. There is not limit to what that collection of services actually IS.

Now the fun begins:

3.2 License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.

You might read "solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services" and think "wow, ok, it's just for the functioning of the site. The laughable plain-English version on the side of the screen seems to indicate that, too. Too bad you won't be able to argue the plain-English version in court, they want the real TOS. And if you read the real TOS, note that since the Services are unbounded, so to is what you're granting the "irrevocable worldwide license" and you "irrevocably waive ... any claims of moral rights or attribution".

All the feel good hipster bullshit doesn't change the fact that, if Thingiverse put a "Buy Me!" button on the site tomorrow, adding sales to the list of "Services", you would have already granted them the right to sell it at profit, regardless of whatever public license you're asking other people to be bound by. You have also waived your right to claims of attribution, so your widget can get a nice big fat Makerbot logo bolted on, too.

If you didn't grant them any rights, they wouldn't have the right to serve the files that you upload to them to serve!

Funny that the right to serve files is directly defined as a Service, yet it's also open enough to include anything else they may come up with at a later time. Doesn't matter if they come up with it later, or if you take your thing down, you can't revoke the worldwide license you granted them. Oopsie.

You don't have to trust me, you should read the actual text, not the feel-good marketing babble next to it.

Re:Patents? (2)

Guano_Jim (157555) | about 10 months ago | (#44054891)

I think that FDM printing is going to go the way of the dodo pretty fast. It's slow, imprecise, and prone to messy failures. I say this as someone who owns a Replicator1 and a Printrbot Simple, both FDM printers.

I think it's more likely that this purchase is going to let MakerBot start competing in, and eventually dominate the hobbyist/prosumer stereolithography space, currently being owned by the resin-based FormLabs Form1 printer, with the b9Creator and mUVe1 hot on its heels.

That is, provided Stratasys shares some of its stereolithography knowledge with MakerBot. Enclosing the build space is rearranging deck chairs on a T. Rex while the mammals are evolving thumbs.

Re: Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44056093)

Again, good stereolithography isn't about "sharing knowledge" -- just like FDM, most of the knowledge is already public, or readily reverse-able from commercial products. It's all about licensing the patents, or waiting till they expire...

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44057815)

I see it as a move to keep makerbot operating at all. and enclosing build area, but that's a side bonus.

Bre isn't a business genius.

Re:Patents? (1)

laird (2705) | about 10 months ago | (#44058499)

While STL printing (B9, Form1) are very promising, and is great for some applications, right now that technology has some serious limitations when compared to FDM printing.
- Expense. Not only do FDM printers cost less, FDM printing is 5-10x cheaper than STL. Competition should drive down prices over time, as it has for FDM filament, but that's still a HUGE issue when printing FDM cost "cents" and printing STL costs "dollars".
- Complexity. STL printers use a resin which is stinky and dangerous (handle with gloves), and has some tricky storage (filter the unused resin, pour it back into a bottle, store in cold/dark place). Spools of plastic for FDM printing are easy to handle. This was the reason that a friend of mine just sold his B9.
- Speed. STL printers are very, very slow.
- Build area. STL printers (so far) have very small print areas, comparable to the old "Cupcake" printers. This limits the volume of (very expensive) resin required, so it makes sense, but it does mean that you can't print large things using current STL printers.
- Durability. STL prints are (so far) soft or fragile (depending on the material and aging - they start soft, and become harder but more brittle as they age).
- Range of materials. STL printers have only a few resin choices (e.g. clear, orange and grey). This should improve over time.

That's not to say that STL is a bad technology - it's fantastic for making small display items that look stunning, or for "masters" for jewelry casting. But right now, for people printing "useful stuff", FDM is a better fit.

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44055669)

Fuck them, they're dead stick a fork in'em.

anon due to fanboitis

Re:Patents? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 10 months ago | (#44059297)

Bre and team wanted to sell this thing from day one. Before anyone knew what a makerbot was I met the team at MDM East 2009, a medical device manufacturing trade show that also featured design and packaging shows as well. In the manufacturing design section, the big attraction was the large commercial 3D printers for prototyping parts. They were walking around toting their little wooden makerbot trying to shop the idea to whoever might be interested in it. A month later they were featured in a Pop-Sci article and they rose to fame.

In the beginning they did not get to sell it to a big commercial vendor. Instead they built up their company on the back of the open source community and turn around and make the project closed source once things were working nicely. Then sell the company to a commercial party. Its just my opinion but Bre is a fucking ass-hole. One of the original founders left the team in protest over the closed-sourcing of the makerbot.

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44062243)

Perhaps stratys showed up with a few truckloads of money and The owners of makerbot decided to cash out ?

Cha-ching! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44054489)

That was the sound of venture capitalists making off with all the money.

MakerBot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44054585)

I tink we're fog'etten about the DonBots' [google.com] interest wit MakerBot.

He may hava problem wit 'dem and have Clamps for ova and hava chat.

Oh boy (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 10 months ago | (#44054603)

I can't wait to see the shit storm on the reprap.org forums...

Re:Oh boy (2)

citizenr (871508) | about 9 months ago | (#44055581)

Why? its not like they have any credibility left. Bre sold out a long time ago, it all started with Thingiverse EULA.

Re:Oh boy (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 10 months ago | (#44055857)

I'm not saying it's surprising, but the number of "I told you so" comments will be near infinite.

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44061961)

I'm not saying it's surprising, but the number of "I told you so" comments will be near infinite.

If "infinite is 7 posts.. Absolutely. Which it was when I looked about an hour ago. Most sniggering about Bre being depicted as the flag bearer of open source to Stratasys

Makerbot got out of the RepRap sphere of interest last year. Now nobody really cares. Much better sexier and more interesting gear to talk about.

This is probably more about Thingiverse (2)

carsonc (792247) | about 10 months ago | (#44054943)

more about the stores, brand and Thingiverse than anything else, thought it does give them a great platform to litigate like crazy, all they have to do is threaten.. no one in the RepRap community has the money to defend... now. Makerbot was the biggest player with the most money. Now nothing.

Convergence of products (2)

EdZ (755139) | about 10 months ago | (#44054955)

Makerbot have been releasing more and more expensive machines, using more and more custom components (e.g. custom geared steppers) with less ability to repair, and more difficult to customise without replacing large portions of the machine. Stratasys are well known for charging massive amounts for basic feedstock, 'renting' printers (that you still need to buy for full-price), waving their patents on fairly basing things at anyone who wants to compete with them, and basically being massive asses.

So stay tuned for a new, even more expensive Makerbot, with minimal pretence to being DIY/self assembled (just plug it together!), feedstock purchased directly from them is some odd packing and diameter/cross-section (for superior quality!), etc.

Re:Convergence of products (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44056411)

MakerBot machines don't have any custom geared steppers. The proprietary parts are molded plastic and folded metal. The rest if off the metaphorical shelf from china.

Re:Convergence of products (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44057407)

Stratasys also has this habit of clawing back their printers if you try and print stuff stratasys dislike or don't approve of.

Wonder how that'll translate to the merger.

Re:Convergence of products (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44058035)

the steppers are dog standard. nothing special about them.
if you took a look you would be amazed how little r&d was necessary for replicator 2. it's basically a simplified version of rep 1. with higher cost. caching! and you still _have to_ tweak it. also rep 2's have a habit of breaking stepper cabling among other problems so you have to do on hands work in it yourself.

they already started selling machines they pretended were "tuned and tested out of the box" with minimal assembly. they did that back in rep1 days. what a load of bullshit that was.

mine works fine now.. after a bunch of mods. out of the box you were lucky if you could print 10 hours with replicator 1's without having to tweak. and you were lucky if you didn't run into firmware difference problems with files on the supplied card tearing your bot open. yes, they were that fucking stupid to make that an issue.

Re:Convergence of products (1)

rijrunner (263757) | about 10 months ago | (#44063563)

Makerbot has been moving towards making and selling a consumer appliance.

The maker movement and DIY is a rather different group. Realistically, Makerbot went as far is it could with the DIY group and was running on name recognition at this point. By my count, there about 130 3D printing companies listed on 3ders.org. Most of them will be gone in a few years. And the list really does not include the major players in the 3D commercial printer market.

Historically, Makerbot had several things going for it. Bre had access to a better advertising channel than most. Effectively Make Magazine was his marketing arm. He also had most of the major R&D done by open source groups. He could concentrate on packaging and marketing. Name recognition is self-sustaining in terms of attracting deals, such as joint marketing with AutoCAD.

But, that said.. There is simply too little difference in technology between companies and their products. The extrusion based systems have their limits and to have a quantitatively better product gets very expensive, very quickly.

worrying acquisition (1)

faustoc4 (2766155) | about 10 months ago | (#44055315)

This kind of acquisitions worry me, it reminds me of Microsoft buying competing companies just to close them. Hope I'm wrong but 3D printing is a really disruptive technology, current industry is worried about disappearing. So they are very interested in turning 3D printing into 3D printing services rather than owning a 3D printer. Anyway I'm backing the next 3D printer in kickstart

Re:worrying acquisition (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 9 months ago | (#44055409)

Since a lot of people have home 3D printers and there's sites where you can request for something to be printed on one nearby for a certain price, I think any company trying to sell "3D printing services" using FDM machines would have a hard time making much profit.

Re:worrying acquisition (1)

faustoc4 (2766155) | about 9 months ago | (#44055505)

That's not what I meant. I think it's possible that they gradually close down makerbot and turn them into a 3D printing service using high end Stratasys printers. And as American you only think about yourself, this technology can have a lot more impact in developing countries but a $2000+ dollars 3D printer is out of the question, owning low cost 3D printing in a developing country is revolutionary and empowering

Re:worrying acquisition (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 9 months ago | (#44055575)

As a Dutchman (*le hinting cough*), I don't really consider Makerbot to be desktop 3D printing anyway. I'm much more partial to the original RepRap project, housing a great variety of different styles of printer with their own mechanics. I built my own for about 550 euros, perhaps 700 dollars or so. I know one person has managed to build a Reprap for $300, and it should be fairly doable to build them for $400 or similar. With welding tools, bulk deals on the electronics, a supply of broken scanners and printers, and an existing 3D printer, you could probably churn out improvised machines for near $250 or less. Not counting labour costs, since I'm assuming this would be a charity or diy type thing.

So no. I don't think only about myself, and I don't consider myself to be particularly American. But you may be right about Stratasys trying to sell a high-end printing service, I don't know enough to really make an educated guess about -that- particular possibility.

Re:worrying acquisition (1)

dbc (135354) | about 10 months ago | (#44056253)

Meh... if Makerbot disappeared tomorrow, little would be lost. Makerbot turned to the Dark Side long ago, closed their hardware, and their software fell behind. There are open clones of everything good Makerbot ever did, and a huge number of open competitors. The open 3D printer world is thriving, and is more innovative (and confusing) than at any previous time, and the quality of the output from open hardware and software is better than ever. And better than Makerbot.

Stratasys has pattents. The only really meaningful patent (which doesn't have much life left, IIRC) is the enclosed build chamber patent, which is why all the clones are open to the breeze. But... a patent only stops you from selling enclosured 3D printers, not from building your own enclosure. An old carboard box and a sharp knife is all it takes to create an enclosed build chamber on most 3D printers. If you have access to a laser cutter, then for $20 in acrylic you can have a purty one.

Fuck Bre Pettis (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44055393)

I bought a Thing-o-matic at the beginning of Bre's PR blitz a year and a half ago. I was excited about it. Then I needed more stuff from theIr store, and they were out of stock... for months... While Bre was still going on every talk show that would have him.

I began to think that this whole venture was just about Bre's self-aggrandizement and there was no follow through for the DIY product itself.

Re:Fuck Bre Pettis (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 10 months ago | (#44055967)

I bought a Thing-o-matic at the beginning of Bre's PR blitz a year and a half ago. I was excited about it. Then I needed more stuff from theIr store, and they were out of stock... for months... While Bre was still going on every talk show that would have him.

I began to think that this whole venture was just about Bre's self-aggrandizement and there was no follow through for the DIY product itself.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is marketing at it's finest. Getting you to part with your money with the glitz and glamour of empty promises.

Re:Fuck Bre Pettis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44056569)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is marketing at it's finest. Getting you to part with your money with the glitz and glamour of empty promises.

From a fruitcake with crappy glasses. That guy's an annoying twerp.

Re:Fuck Bre Pettis (1)

djh101010 (656795) | about 10 months ago | (#44056893)

Exactly. Us Cupcake owners financed his team's development of the Thing-O-Matic. We were fine with that, we welcomed it as the next release of an open-source success story. And then Bre abandoned us Cupcake owners, 3 months afther the ToM was live, with a tacit "fuck you, buy the new stuff" message. Out of stock for months is a passive-aggressive approach to abandoning your supporters. Not cool, Bre.

For Sale (2)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 9 months ago | (#44055445)

For sale: lightly used Replicator 2 with extruder and build plate upgrades, 3 months old. Or trade for any other 3d printer not controlled by thieving money-grubbing parent company..

Re:For Sale (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 9 months ago | (#44055607)

To be honest, I think Makerbot may already have already acquired a chronic case of "money-grubbing" more than 3 months ago.

Re:For Sale (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 9 months ago | (#44055725)

True dat. It was probably inevitable once they took money from investors. But still, how long until they adopt Stratasys (and Cubify) model of filament cartridges with EEPROMs to make sure they get you coming and going. I have free access to a Stratasys machine and still bought a Replicator because of the obscene maintenance and consumable costs.

Stick it to the man! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44056123)

For sale: lightly used Replicator 2 with extruder and build plate upgrades, 3 months old. Or trade for any other 3d printer not controlled by thieving money-grubbing parent company..

Just use your Replicator 2 to make one yourself!

Way to go Stratasys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44055615)

Hopefully this will be a another arrow in Stratasys's quiver to slay the evil 3d systems (ok, not evil... But not as cool a stratasys).

Re: Way to go Stratasys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44056135)

When 3D Systems gets "slain", Stratasys will become massively worse. It happens every time competition disappears, the victorious party (however absolutely or relatively good they may appear) becomes an insufferable fucktard.

Makerbot might not be "industry leader" (4, Interesting)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 9 months ago | (#44055643)

Back in may 2012, more people used RepRap style printers than Makerbot-produced ones (even though Makerbots should, by all means, counts as RepRap-style, but let's not get into that). I'm not sure if the tables would've turned so much in one year. Perhaps they have. And yeah, I'm aware that RepRap might not count as part of the industry due to its DIY nature. But still, the article implies that most desktop 3D printers that people acquire/use are Makerbots and that just irks me.

I'd appreciate if you people had a gaze at http://surveys.peerproduction.net/2012/05/manufacturing-in-motion/3/ [peerproduction.net], one page in a set of results from a survey back in may 2012. It may provide some useful insights.

Re:Makerbot might not be "industry leader" (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44057817)

but makerbots survey done with makerbot buyers says that makerbot is an industry leader in selling makerbots.

Gobbled up? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 10 months ago | (#44055919)

While the dictionary defintion definitely allows for such use of the word "merge", I tend to think of "merge" as being an activity between entities of fairly similar sizes. I mean, it sounds odd to say that you "merged" with the hotdog you just ate, although technically that would be correct. Another example might be a small web start-up that was acquired by Google or Facebook.

Re:Gobbled up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44056337)

Stratasys is $3.3 billion, Makerbot is $602 million if they meet there goals for 2014 ($402 million if they do not), so Stratasys parent company is 5.5x the size of Makerbot. So if you were 180 lbs, that hot dog you at must have been 33 lbs. Either that or you merged with you 33 lb dog.

Re:Gobbled up? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44057843)

Stratasys is $3.3 billion, Makerbot is $602 million if they meet there goals for 2014 ($402 million if they do not), so Stratasys parent company is 5.5x the size of Makerbot. So if you were 180 lbs, that hot dog you at must have been 33 lbs. Either that or you merged with you 33 lb dog.

it sure as fuck wasn't worth 602 million... they have no r&d wing to speak of and try calculating 602 million / 11k.

So? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 10 months ago | (#44056425)

The 3-d printing "revolution" is actually two revolutions. First, putting the ability to make stuff in the hands of ordinary people. Second, putting the ability to make 3-d printers in the hands of ordinary people. The first, the "making revolution", is still a work in progress, as anyone who's actually tried to use 3-d design and print software knows. The second, the "Von Neumann revolution", was never what Makerbot was about.

So long as StrataSys continues to make a low-cost FDM printer for home use, I think we can continue to progress toward the making revolution. And if they don't, the groups working toward the Von Neumann revolution (RepRap and others) can always fork off another MakerBot-style company.

In any case, MakerBot was doomed. 3d Systems' Cube was about to eat its lunch in the general retail market -- the Cube looks like something you'd buy at Best Buy rather than something your nerdy cousin built, and it's half the price. And I give it two years before the Chinese clones hit Wal-Mart, at a $400 price point.

Re:So? (1)

daid303 (843777) | about 10 months ago | (#44060565)

Reporting from Ultimaker. You know, the real OpenSource 3D printer, that actually DOES do open-source software development.

Our printer hit the market 2 year ago. It's still top of the line. Sure they are cheaper options, and even a Chinese copy. You know what, they don't get the same quality and speed that we do.
The Cube is noisy, slow, prints in low res (as it's not allowed to compete with the expensive Dimension 150) getting one of these will more likely disappoint you in the capabilities of 3D printing then providing you with something useful.

Stratasys buying Makerbot is surely interesting. As they are paying about 20k for each printer sold so far. So they are not paying for the current market, they must be paying for the marketing, and thingiverse. People have been pulling models off thingiverse already because of this deal.

As on the Ultimaker open-source side. We just released our new version of our Open Source software solution Cura. Which is all AGPL, the GUI and the engine. Everything is usable on RepRap machines, and you can follow development as it happens. No secrets here.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44064697)

Glad to see Ultimaker chiming in on this. I currently own both a Replicator 2 and a Ultimaker. Both are extremely high quality, although I'd like to see the Ultimaker come with aluminum parts.

Cura is an amazing program. I bought the license to NetFabb and often use Cura because it just "works".

Bre is a whore. (4, Interesting)

djh101010 (656795) | about 10 months ago | (#44056661)

Bre has abandoned the people who gave him his start. Sorry, but abandoning the first-gen "Cupcake" bot, 3 MONTHS after the next bot came out, and doing the same to the Thing-O-Matic folks, is a slap in the face to the open-source community who gave him his start. He's nothing other than a money-seeking whore, who betrayed his early supporters for the Almighty Buck. Even today's software updates, which have nothing different from the Whatzitplicator mark 1 and 2 other than a volumetric envelope setting, Makerbot Industries have abandoned the ones who gave them their start and turned into the entity that they pretended to not be part of. I wonder how many months before Bre adds some DRM crap to his supplies so you can only print stuff on Makerbot printers if you buy their own branded, DRM'd, overpriced filaments. And to think that I supported you, Bre. What an idiot I was. You seemed so sincere.

Re:Bre is a whore. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44057835)

he did that with every product he sold. refining and fixing isn't in his vocabulary(that's pretty much his motto, don't fix. there's an old blog post about it by him too).

only the community has made makerbot products worthwhile by fixing them.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44061109)

...time for the community to take back the designs, the lead, the ideas and the execution!

Separate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44058015)

"MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys," we all know how well statements like this end up.... MakerBot will be absorbed into Statasys and it will become a 100% commericial product.

Another sellout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44061083)

This isn't the first time that a big player in 3DP has tried to get into the home/DIY printing market. 3D systems markets a Prusa Mendel with a slightly different frame build. I think it's sort of flattering that these heavy hitters in the biz are starting to buy up the DIY outfits. They wouldn't' do it just for patent protection, they have really good IP lawyers for that. I have a Solidoodle, and I think that their company truly embodies the DIY spirit still. In fact, the founder of Solidoodle actually defected from Makerbot to start the company. He was probably tired of making printers from laser-cut wood : ) To give you an example of how far this DIY scene has come; I have an older stratasys fdm 8000 at my office that our company uses to prototype orthopedic medical devices. Back when it was new, it cost over 60,000, and the material for it still costs about 250/spool. my Solidoodle is smaller, but it consistently prints more accurately than the big pro machine does. It also give me the ability to choose different "slicers", this tool pathing software is what is used to make the parts in the machine. there is very little difference in ease of use regarding the two machines. Sure, the Solidoodle can be finicky at times, but the Statasys does it on a more epic scale. I can clear a clogged nozzle in ten minutes on my SD2, but the big machine requires a full tear down to un jam everything. My SD only cost about 600.00 all in. The material is around 30.00 per 2kg. spool, and I have yet to see the end of the spool I bought with the machine six months ago. This is with printing almost everyday. Instead of driving 40 miles one way to the office to print, I can sit back at home and do most of my jobs on my own machine. The kids love it too! My boys are always asking me to print something for them. Sorry for the long post, but the FDM 3DP market will be here for awhile. It's cheap, easy, and thanks tot he culture that Makerbot started(and abandoned), there is a healthy archive of files you can print if you don't know how to create models in a 3D software. Peace out!

-Azuro.

Consumers? You mean angy consumers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44064675)

Anyone who has been around 3D printers for more than a day knows that these things are absolutely not ready for the average consumer. What Stratasys did here was kept a competitor from advancing. If anything, this hurt the consumer. It was only a matter of time before Makerbot moved beyond these methods into the realm of professional printers, possibly offered at a reasonable price. This would have destroyed Stratasys.

Reprap style printers(the replicator is nothing more than a glorified reprap) are crude. Awesome, but crude none the less. There are no safeguards against bad prints, compensation for a bad layer, etc. The idea of printing PLA, or worse, ABS, through extrusion methods and market it to the average joe as having the same reliability as say, an HP paper printer, is hilarious. I highly doubt Stratasys will let Makerbot release anything remotely professional quality.

Good move on their part. But let's not get confused as to why it happened.

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