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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: 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.

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  • (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.