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posted by janrinok on Sunday May 15, @06:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the open-up-our-merging-hearts dept.

MakerBot and Ultimaker announce plans to merge – TechCrunch:

Desktop 3D printing firms MakerBot and Ultimaker this morning announced plans to merge. The new single company will be backed by NPM Capital and MakerBot-owner Stratasys and co-led by existing CEOs Nadav Goshen and Jürgen von Hollen. Existing offices will also be maintained in both Brooklyn and The Netherlands.

Both firms rode an initial wave of excitement around additive manufacturing 10 to 15 years ago, becoming two of the most prominent players in the desktop 3D printing space. MakerBot was founded in 2008 as an offshoot of the open source RepRap project. In 2013, the company was acquired by industrial 3D printing giant Stratasys. Founded in Utrecht, Netherlands in 2011, Ultimaker's team was similarly formed around attempts to productize the RepRap project.

[...] The newly formed company will spin out from Stratasys, though the parent company will maintain a minority (45.6%) stake. NPM Capital will control the other 54.4%.

[...] Pending regulator approvals, the deal is expected to close in Q2 or Q3.

Are any of our community 3D printer users? What are you experiences? Has it lived up to your expectations? And the question that I'm sure everyone has asked - what have you made?

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by looorg on Sunday May 15, @06:52PM

    by looorg (578) on Sunday May 15, @06:52PM (#1245169)

    I have been thinking about getting one eventually but I have not had the need so far as there are Stratasys machines at work that you can use, and they have somewhat seem somewhat superior in product. Also if I couldn't use the once at work the local makerspace have 3D printers to that you get to use if you just pay for the material.

    What have I made? Mostly some small boxes, brackets, replacement parts and cases for old computers and computer parts (cartridge cases etc) and such. A few friends printed miniatures and little play-pieces and such to use for various board- and wargames (totally not clones of Warhammer figures etc).

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @07:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @07:39PM (#1245174)

    We use our 3D printer at work (research lab) quite a bit. We make mounts to hold optics and we prototype designs that we'll have made in metal later on. The nice thing is that even high school students that come in on internships know how to use them (I had one teach me!).

    I've toyed with the idea of getting one, but I don't have a compelling case to have one at home. I'l end up using it a lot in the first month, about half in the next month, etc., until it sits in my garage unused. Same thing with those laser paper cutters. It would have the same exponential decay, I'm sure.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @07:42PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @07:42PM (#1245175)

    Anyone want to bet they blow the rebranding budget on hookers & blow and just decide to call the combined company MakerMaker?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @08:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @08:05PM (#1245177)


  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @08:53PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @08:53PM (#1245182)

    i don't have one. i am curious tho: how much internet connection to these require to work correctly?
    what device i am interested in at the moment is one that can drill perfect 90 deg holes (perpendicular) into stuff like wood, alu, pvc pipe and maybe rebar ...err...bars and stuff. the deeper the better ... concrete is also a wonderful "additative" material?

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Sunday May 15, @10:23PM (1 child)

      by mhajicek (51) on Sunday May 15, @10:23PM (#1245191)

      Most 3D printers do not require an internet connection, unless you want to update the software. 3D printers do not drill holes in any material; you're looking for a router or mill.

      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 16, @06:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 16, @06:09PM (#1245378)

        Drilling deep holes in "maybe rebar ...err...bars and stuff. the deeper the better" sounds like he wants to make gun barrels.

        To the GP, have a look at []

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by dx3bydt3 on Sunday May 15, @09:03PM

    by dx3bydt3 (82) on Sunday May 15, @09:03PM (#1245183)

    Thingiverse has been in decline for years, with loads of bugs and breaches. is gunning for the top spot now. Based on youtube traffic I see from my models on both sites, Thingiverse still retains the vast majority of traffic.
    Will they build it back to it's former glory or ditch it?

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Sunday May 15, @11:33PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Sunday May 15, @11:33PM (#1245205) Journal

    My younger brother works with additive manufacturing in Ford's advanced manufacturing lab and gave our family a Prusa i3 MK3S+ for Christmas last year. It's made by a Czech company [] at a good price point with solid capabilities. The fun thing about it is it comes as a kit that you have to assemble; the manual is very straightforward and easy to follow. Having to assemble it teaches you all the components and how they work, which makes troubleshooting prints so much easier.

    I love it. It has been running almost continuously since I got it put together. I have made toys for my kids. I have made fixtures for the house when things break or when they don't work quite right for the space we need to put them in. My son joined the model rocket club at school but we couldn't get a rocket for him to use because of supply chain issues, so I printed him one and made engines out of powdered sugar and stump remover. My wife got our daughter jewelry this past Christmas so I printed out a jewelry box to hold it all.

    Gone are the days when I go to Home Depot and wander up and down the aisles, hoping they have what I need. Gone are the days of scrolling through page after page on the Internet, hoping to find exactly what I need. Now I pull up Blender on my laptop, design what I need, send it to the printer, go for a walk (or turn in for the night, depending on the print time), and come back and pop it off the print bed.

    I highly recommend getting a 3D printer for yourself. The feeling of liberation and the learning curve is fun. And if you get stuck, there's an active and responsive online community of enthusiasts that quite remind me of the LUGs back in the day.

    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Monday May 16, @04:05AM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday May 16, @04:05AM (#1245242) Journal

    If you want to try out 3D printing, check the public library in a city. Many have a variety of machines, including a few 3D printers.

    I used FreeCAD to make a part, then uploaded the file to the public library. A couple hours later, the part was finished, and I picked it up. Cost $5.

    I simply do not make a lot of stuff. For my use case, the public library's equipment makes a lot more sense than buying my own machine.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 16, @05:52AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 16, @05:52AM (#1245253)

    More IP for the Stratasys lawyers to litigate.

    3D printing has been held hostage by such companies, including Makerbot.

    Makerbot is no surprise either, given they turned away from the community years ago.

    As a developer, I've had ideas and submissions rejected many times on the grounds of Stratasys patents. They didn't even have to be the same idea, or similar, or exist at all, just put the litigation scare into people.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Monday May 16, @08:20AM

      by sjames (2882) on Monday May 16, @08:20AM (#1245264) Journal

      The hostages were freed several years ago when the more important patents ran out. In TFA Ultimaker and Makerbot both complained that the low end didn't become more professional. It's no wonder they complain about that because these days, people are getting prints of comparable quality out of $200 printers ($100 if you catch the Ender 3 sales at Microcenter).

      It turns out all that beige plastic that gets in your way when you want to fix the thing is very expensive. There may be a niche for Ultimaker and Makerbot (mostly where it's someone else's money and a great aversion to open frame devices), but for now, the community is passing them by.

      If you just want to tinker and learn the things inside and out get an Ender or one of the many clones. If you're looking for something a little more turnkey, get a Prusa.

  • (Score: 2) by ncc74656 on Monday May 16, @08:03PM

    by ncc74656 (4917) on Monday May 16, @08:03PM (#1245419) Homepage

    I started with an Anet A8, purchased as a kit for maybe $170 or so. Assembling it and getting it dialed in is an education in itself. So are all the repairs when something breaks (as the controller board did after about a month). It's long since been upgraded to an AM8, which replaces the flimsy laser-cut acrylic frame with 2040 aluminum extrusions.

    I was also able to use the A8 to make the printed bits for a Hypercube 300, with a larger print volume and CoreXY kinematics. The larger build plate allows me to fill orders faster when someone orders (for instance) several dozen customized whistles; it'll print about twice as many at a time as the AM8. For more examples, see my H3 Bazaar page [].