Jul 19, 2018 | By Thomas

Sad news for fans of Printrbot 3D printers. With a brief note on their site today, open source 3D printer manufacturer Printrbot announces their closure. A statement on the Printrbot website from founder Brook Drumm reads:

“Printrbot is closed. Low sales led to hard decisions. We will be forever grateful to all the people we met and served over the years. Thank you all.”

Printrbot is one of the earliest 3D printing companies to benefit from the power of crowdfunding. Brook Drumm, an American Maker who started Printrbot out of his garage, launched the brand with a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2011. Drumm raised in excess of $830,000 for a $500 machine. From November 2011 until late summer of 2012, Drumm worked to fulfill orders for the over 1,800 or so individuals who contributed to the campaign.

Brook Drumm

Since then, Printrbot and Drumm quickly built up a reputation for delivering simple and low-cost 3D printer options for entry-level consumers. Over the years, the various 3D printers developed by the Lincoln, California-based company have sold quite well and received numerous accolades.

In 2014 Printrbot released its first all-metal Printrbot Simple 3D printer, Printrbot's most affordable 3D printer. Printrbot 3D printers moved into select Radioshack store locations, with hopes of expanding the offering to many more store in the future. In 2015 Printrbot released Crawlbot, a compact CNC machine for the at-home tinkerer. After that, a new version of the Simple Metal was introduced in 2016 with premium features such as linear rails and cloud-based slicing. Most recently, Printrbot introduced Printrbelt, a desktop 3D printer which integrates a moving platform in place of a traditional bed. This distinct feature, along with a novel angled printhead, makes for a 3D printer that can print continuously, as printed parts are automatically moved along the Z-axis on the print belt until they come off at the end.

Unfortunately, software and cloud-based infrastructure kept the Printrbot 3D printers from realizing its full potential. And overseas manufacturers started flooding the market with 3D printers that were much cheaper than Printrbot, an America company with locally sourced components was able to release.

And with that, Printrbot has announced the close of its business. Meanwhile, the Printrbot website says of Drumm: “He will share this last chapter of Printrbot with the public in due time.” It is sad to see such an innovative company shut the doors. We wish Brook Drumm and the Printrbot team success in all their future endeavors.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Keith S. wrote at 9/5/2018 7:38:10 PM:

I have the first wooden Simple with the fishing line for belts. It still works but has been retired. Their latest metal Simple was so expensive.

Keith S. wrote at 9/5/2018 7:36:19 PM:

I have the first wooden Simple with the fishing line for belts. It still works but has been retired. Their latest metal Simple was so expensive.

orest wrote at 8/21/2018 4:45:56 PM:

I am sorry for printrbot ending like this. I admired very much Printrbelt - I think it was super bold of them to develop an offer such an experimental platform. I hope Brook will not disappear. I have still the old wooden printerbot... :-)

DensityDuck wrote at 7/20/2018 5:34:55 PM:

Hooray for the Prusa clones. All those dudes who wanted a cheap one bad, well, you got a bad one cheap now...

Spinnetti wrote at 7/19/2018 6:48:32 PM:

Bummer. I bought a couple of printers from him, but I can see how he got there with China Inc. on the bottom end, and more fully featured machines on the top end. Good luck to him on his next project!

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