Apr 6, 2016 | By Benedict

MakerBot Industries, the trailblazing New York City-based 3D printer company, has vacated over 65,000 square feet of its Industry City production premises. The company now occupies about 135,000 square feet at the property, 40% less than it had at its peak.

Just yesterday, everything was looking rosy for MakerBot as it celebrated an incredible milestone: 100,000 3D printers sold worldwide. Today, more concerning statistics have come to light, with the company reported to have slashed its Brooklyn production space by more than a quarter. MakerBot, known for its popular “Replicator” line of 3D printers, is headquartered at One MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, but has used its Industry City location as a manufacturing space for several years.

MakerBot, owned by 3D printing giant Stratasys, has been in the headlines for both good and bad reasons over the last couple of years. While its products are well-used and well-liked, the company cut its workforce by 20% on two occasions in 2015, and was embroiled in controversy when it was accused of knowingly selling faulty 3D printers. Its decision to cut back on its production space does not necessarily signify serious problems within the company, but nor does it seem like the action of a company on the rise.

Industry City, located in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, became the home of MakerBot 3D printer production back in 2013, when the startup hired around 55,000 feet at the premises. At its peak, the company occupied around 225,000 square feet of the premises. The decision by the company to manufacture its 3D printers in New York was seen by many as impressive and defiant, with many competitors outsourcing production to countries with cheaper labor and premises. MakerBot, however, looks like it will begin producing components in Asia as it seeks to capture the market there in the coming years.

Image: Crain's

MakerBot, founded in 2009 by Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer, and Zach Smith, began as a RepRap 3D printer project. As it company gathered steam, the company took on new projects, and was eventually acquired by Stratasys in June 2013, while continuing to operate more-or-less independently of its owner. However, in the years since, MakerBot has become more and more integrated with Stratasys, losing a number of employees in the process. As well as producing a range of 3D printers, the company also operates the 3D printing downloads platform Thingiverse, one of the best 3D printing sites for downloading free STL files.

MakerBot was required to pay a cancellation fee for the downsizing of its Industry City space. A spokesperson for MakerBot claimed that the company has no plans to reduce its 37,000-square-foot offices at the MetroTech Center.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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JayDee LaRue wrote at 4/8/2016 9:14:49 AM:

Stratasys has lost faith in this question mark/dog. In fear of cannibalization, they've deprived MB of access to the good stuff like patents, while competitors are overtaking MB left and right. Only a matter of time before SSYS cuts its losses.

PBZ wrote at 4/7/2016 5:26:37 PM:

This wasn't production space; it was office space.

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