Printrbot 3D printer founder Brook Drumm to return with new company

Brook Drumm has announced plans for a “completely new market/business” idea following the close of the former 3D printer manufacturer Printrbot which he founded in 2011.

In lieu of his forthcoming venture, Drumm has also launched a Patreon for support of YouTube content, and will be conducting contract work for Ubis Hotends.

The intro to Drumm’s Patreon page reads:

“I invested everything into the business. But, I made mistakes. Cheap competition crowded the market, the hype fell off sharply and the whole thing blew up. I lost it all,”

“I learned a lot.
I’m moving on,”

“Now, I’m pursuing my new adventure and inviting you along for the ride. I’ll share all kinds of content: designs, videos, projects… the full monty. I can’t do it without you. Bring it!”

User support

Citing low sales, and “mistakes” confessed by Drumm, after 7 years in business, Printrbot closed for business in July 2018. Following its closure Ubis Hotends, the exclusive provider of Printrbot hotends, has agreed to support Printrbot users as a spare part provider and is promising to look into solutions for the closure of the Simple Pro cloud operation.

Ubis Hotends is run by Carl Ubis, a former HP employee and longstanding partner of Printrbot 3D printers.

A metal Printrbot simple hotend. Photo via Ubis Hotends
A metal Printrbot simple hotend. Photo via Ubis Hotends

New ventures

Launched via the Printrbot Twitter on September 30th 2018 after two and half months offline, Drumm’s Patreon will be used to fund ongoing, free-to-view content on the Printrbot YouTube. However, patrons at different levels of support will have access to exclusive content from Drumm, including Q&As, designs and other projects.

Drumm’s new venture will be launched via GoFundMe and Kickstarter in the near future. The money from GoFundMe will be used to make a prototype product, and Kickstarter will be use to gauge the interest in the product as a business.

Open Source + the future

On the 10th Anniversary of the RepRap project, just one month before the closure of Printrbot, 3D Printing Industry interviewed Drumm on the value of Open Source in the 3D printing community.

Among a number of the disadvantages Drumm experienced in an open source company, in this interview he states, “There is still a need for OS projects, of course. The educational benefits of 3D printing alone are enough of a reason for me to stay engaged. Saving the time that would otherwise be spent reinventing wheels, or waiting on older prototyping methods, are also good reasons to leverage open source software and hardware alike.”

Before the company’s closure, Printrbot had also been experimenting with the likes of the Printrbelt, a conveyor belt 3D printer capable of ongoing production and automatic part ejection. It will be interesting to see what direction Drumm takes next.

Printrbot's Brook Drumm previews the Printrbot Printrbelt 3D printer.
Printrbot’s Brook Drumm previews the Printrbot Printrbelt 3D printer. Screengrab via Printrbot on YouTube

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Featured image shows Brook Drumm and some early 3D printers. Photo via Printrbot.