3D Printers

MakerBot’s CEO resigns, President appointed to lead desktop 3D printing division of Stratasys

3D printing company MakerBot has announced that their CEO, Jonathan Jaglom, has stepped down. Company President Nadav Goshen will take over at the 3D printer manufacturer and owners of file sharing site, Thingiverse.

3D Printing Industry spoke recently with MakerBot’s parent company Stratasys and CEO, Ilan Levin. We also interviewed outgoing MakerBot CEO Jaglom. Read on for our exclusive insights.

Jonathan Jaglom, former CEO of MakerBot said, “Having put the company on a new track and put in place a new organizational structure, I believe that now is the right time for me to step back and spend more time with my young family. Nadav Goshen has been crucial in defining MakerBot’s new direction and he is the ideal candidate to lead the company on its new path.”

Nadav Goshen, the new CEO states, “I’m excited to continue working towards our vision of putting a desktop 3D printer in every classroom and on the desk of every designer and engineer”

“Goshen has 15+ years of experience leading turnarounds at tech companies and his expertise lies in defining new products and business models,” write the company. In his online CV Goshen says,

When Nadav Goshen studied at Tel Aviv University for a Bacherlor’s degree in cinema and television, he knew he’d be involved in the world of entertainment. A short time later, however, he realized that instead of making movies and television shows, he’d be finding ways to entertain people on line and on their cell phones.

Stratasys distances itself from MakerBot?

A number of media outlets remarked upon the absence of Stratasys from this years CES, seemingly unaware that MakerBot is also part of the company and was in attendance.

In light of a 30% decline in sales and new partnerships with industrial powerhouses such as Siemens, I asked Illan Levin whether Stratasys was planning to follow the lead of 3D Systems, who are no longer active in the desktop 3D printing market. Levin said,

Two major trends that I see in the industry. We spoke exclusively today on the trend of what we call “making additive manufacturing meaningful” to customers and building applications around that. The first trend that I mentioned, that we didn’t spend a lot of time on, was what I call, “making it accessible”. We say internally, more for less, meaning customers in general (a little bit Uber-like in that vein) what we purchased last year, we expect to purchase either at the same price with a lot more in it, or at lower price. That is a very clear trend that we see and we are participating in that. We believe long term that is a very, very big market. We will be touching as an industry, and Stratasys is included in that, more and more people through that accessible trend. We have sold over 100,000 3D printers to date in that sector and we will continue to see that rise and ramp up. It’s a question absolutely of getting that eco-system right and tying all that in. We have some very key assets like the CAD to print software, we have materials and we obviously have systems, whether it is Stratasys or MakerBot entry level. We have online communities like GrabCAD and Thingiverse which all of that over time will come into play into something that we think is very meaningful.

Speaking with Jaglom before today’s announcement he told me that MakerBot did not view the desktop market in the same way as rival additive manufacturing company, 3D Systems.

We’re obviously not of that opinion right!

I respect 3D Systems, I chatted a few times with VJ actually they are clearly focusing on manufacturing and they are placing their bets in that space and placing their resources in that space, so they are cutting off technology and platforms that are not serving them the means of 3D printing for the purpose of .. if you listen to [the] earnings call he (VJ) said it about 20 times, they are focusing on manufacturing. I respect that, it’s a whole different.. there are two directions right now. There is manufacturing high end and there is prototyping low end, you don’t have to be a genius to understand that. To me at least it’s very self evident.

An opportunity to rebuild?

Competition in the desktop market has intensified, the quality of the 3D printers available and the range of possibilities has increased, while prices have gone in the opposite direction.

In conversations with members of the 3D printing community, there is a feeling that MakerBot has stood still.

This perception was not aided by yesterdays announcement that those who purchase 2 MakerBots will get a 3rd for free. A promotion met with more than a slight measure of mirth by some on social media.

Looking on the bright side, and as an engineer associate of mine said today, at least when you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is up.

MakerBot’s new CEO certainly has a challenge on his hands. Already experienced with the company, having held the position of President, he will not have to contend with finding his feet. A bigger struggle will be rebuilding the brand, which for some was damaged long before his predecessor, Jaglom, took the reins.