The end of the first quarter of 2016 is behind us and we are waiting for an announcement of financial results of the most important companies from 3D printing industry in the world.  The report for 2015 showed that XYZ Printing became a leader of a low-budget sector followed by M3D – manufacturer of a popular Micro 3D printer. As far as up to now leaders are considered, 3D Systems decided to withdraw from manufacturing of low-budget 3D printers and MakerBot is falling down in sale rankings – in the Q4 2015 it wasn’t even in top 5. This trend seems to be continued – the company announced that it is going to shut down New York assembly facility moving production to contact manufacturer Jabil.

This decision is quite drastic, because it is directly connected with making a huge number of workers redundant. We informed two weeks ago, that MakerBot reduced a surface of Industrial City in Brooklyn of 40. Now they are planning to close it down. In this factory MakerBot manufactured 3D printers like: Replicator 5th, Mini and Z18. Prior models –  Replicator 2 and 2X are already manufactured by an outsourcing company.

Financial results for Q1 2016 are going to be really interesting, when MakerBot makes such serious decisions. It’s worth mentioning, that yesterday they announced a great discount for Replicator 2, which is available for 799$ in the USA. It is a colosal 60% price reduction. Yet, we still don’t know, how will it look in another countries…?

Since Jonathan Jaglom became the CEO of MakerBot, the company has been completely restructured. For the time being, almost a half of stuff, who was employed when Bre Pettis was empowered was fired; all of the three company’s stores were closed, cooperation with Alexander Hafner, who managed with an European branch of the company was finished and finally MakerBot was absorbed into the structures of Stratasys.

From the business point of view outsourcing of production is a great solution – especially when such a remarkable company like Jabil is involved with it. It has however not possible influence on appearance of the company. MakerBot was bound with New Your from the really beginning and its factory in Industrial was one of the symbols of a growing importance of 3D printing technology in the world. I have got a feeling, that it goes back to basics – the myth of a young and dynamically developed start-up vanished and the company is rather going to become a typical corporation.

It wouldn’t be a bad decision, if the sales rare grew. Unfortunately, reports from last year show, that the company is losing successively this game. MakerBot resigned from consumer market, which was a domain of the creator of the company –  Bre Pettis, and concentrated only on education and small business.

The question is, if the decreasing sale of 3D printers is a consequence of a wrong strategy or it depends on the market, where above all simple and cheap 3D printers are wanted, which aren’t offered by MakerBot?

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Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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