3D Printers

Stratasys CEO comments on the future of desktop 3D printing and MakerBot

After news earlier this week that MakerBot’s Jonathan Jaglom has resigned his position as CEO at the 3D printer manufacturer, we asked parent company, Stratasys about their plans for the brand.

Speaking to 3D Printing Industry, Stratasys CEO Ilan Levin said, “Stratasys continues to be committed to MakerBot and we are working closely with Nadav Goshen on the leadership transition.”

When asked about the future of MakerBot Levin explains, “There are no plans to discontinue the MakerBot brand or products. We are pleased with the strategic shift the company has undergone and are confident that Goshen will continue to lead MakerBot in the right direction.”

Shaping the future of 3D printing

Under Goshen MakerBot will, “continue to strive to shape the future of 3D printing by investing in product quality, reliability, and innovation. One specific area that Nadav has been emphasizing in his role as president is the tight integration of software and hardware to improve the overall 3D printing experience,” adds Johan-Till Broer Director of Public Relations at MakerBot.

MakerBot is part of a long term plan for Stratasys. Photo by Michael Petch
MakerBot is part of a long term plan for Stratasys. Photo by Michael Petch

As reported earlier, MakerBot are currently running a promotion that some in the 3D printing community have interpreted as a sign that sales are not going well. Broer tells me, “MakerBot runs price promotions from time to time. The “Buy Two, Get One Free” in particular is a promotion that is running for a limited time only and that we have run before. This promotion provides value to customers, in particular schools, that would like expanded 3D printing capacity, but have limited budget. Our promotion addresses this need by bundling a free MakerBot Replicator 5th Gen (previous product generation) with the purchase of two new MakerBot Replicator+.”

I also raised the question of whether MakerBot as brand can recover credibility within the 3D printing community. Broer tells me, “We believe that MakerBot is still one of the strongest 3D printing brands. Over the last two years, MakerBot launched products that have been well accepted by the market. The Smart Extruder+, for example, offers improved reliability and went through an extensive product testing initiative spanning over 160,000 cumulative hours – or 18 years – of print time.”

Shifting from a printer-centric to a customer-centric approach

Under Jaglom MakerBot changed focus from the Maker to a solution targeting a different group. or, “shifting from a printer-centric to a customer-centric approach.” Broer says, “The new solutions have been developed based on customer feedback to seek to address the specific needs of designers, engineers, and educators. The new MakerBot Print software, for example, is designed to make it easy for professionals to integrate 3D printing into their workflow by supporting native CAD files.

The way this integration manifests itself is in the features that allow greater collaboration on projects and optimize the availability of the 3D printer. “Users can now also organize 3D files and multiple build plates into projects and email project files as attachments to collaborate with others,” says Broer. The company are not alone in recognizing the importance of application engineers who can communicate how 3D printing can be used in a valuable manner.

MakerBot has gone through a lot of change over the last two years and we just launched a whole range of new products, including new 3D printers, a new Tough PLA Material, Thingiverse Education, a new MakerBot Mobile app, and our new MakerBot Print software.

We know that our new 3D printers perform significantly better than the previous generation and that new offerings, such as Thingiverse Education and MakerBot Tough PLA seem to resonate well with our target audiences. We have received very positive feedback about the quality, reliability, and ease of use of our new products. You can expect more to come in 2017.

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