Sorry about the wrong link everyone.

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(Rien Stouten) #1

Sorry about the wrong link everyone.
http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2015/10/08/makerbot-reorganizes-to-adapt-to-market-dynamics-and-prepare-for-the-future

(Stephanie A) #2

They are giving up on the 5th gen, and laying off 20% of their workforce.
Too bad that doesn’t mean they will come out with any good products. Also no mention of open source or all of the “innovations” they stole.

(Brook Drumm) #3

Is 4th gen code for 6th gen models? (1)Replicator 1, (2) rep 2 /2x, (3)5th gen, then new (4) gen 6 new model named “4th gen” w/ new extruder

I’d see then dropping mini and z-18… Focusing on flagship

Just guessing. It’s what I would do. Revamp 5th gen internals / extruder and using existing molds

Brook

(Ryan Carlyle) #4

@Brook_Drumm , the “gens” are all screwed up. You can go back to the TOM and Cupcake but there were also original RepRap electronics gens to consider, which MBI used in their number schemes in the early days. And I believe there was a gen that MBI developed internally but never sold so they skipped a number in their own internal terminology.

(Ryan Carlyle) #5

When Jaglom says 4th gen here, he means the R2x which they somewhat revived as a marketed product recently. Note that it was not called 4th gen when it was released, that name came when the 5th gen line came out…

(Rien Stouten) #6
(Whosawhatsis) #7

@Brook_Drumm Did I miss something? I don’t see any mention of anything “6th gen”.

The generation-based names for electronics are completely meaningless beyond Gen3 (BTW, notice the difference in naming conventions between electronics in the form of “Gen_”, while machines are referred to as “_th Gen”).

I read this as MBI (understandably) de-emphasizing the 5th Gen machines and increasing (while outsourcing) production of the Rep 2. Meanwhile, they’re continuing to produce the 5th Gen machines in-house, likely to avoid admitting that they are a complete failure, as well as so that they can continue to claim to be “made in the USA” even as they move the manufacturing of their only viable products to China.

(Rien Stouten) #8

@Whosa_whatsis Something like that, yes.

(Justin Nesselrotte) #9

The 3rd gen electronics were used on the first gen printer, the cupcake. They used those electronics because Zach, one of their founders, created it. The 2nd generation was the thing-o-matic. 3rd generation was the replicator, and to a certain degree the replicator 2. The 4th generation was the replicator 2 and 2x. The 5th generation was the mini (code name tinkerbell), the Z18 (code name moose), and the replicator 5th gen (code name platypus).

I’m just glad the company isn’t doing well. It’s kinda nice because it shows a little bit that not being open source doesn’t really help all the time.

(Brook Drumm) #10

“• Working with a contract manufacturer to produce 4th generation products to save on costs and focus our teams at our factory in Brooklyn on our current generation of MakerBot 3D printers”

(Whosawhatsis) #11

@Brook_Drumm 4th Gen means Replicator 2/2x. They’re the ones before 5th Gen.

(dstevens lv) #12

@Justin_Nesselrotte To say you’re glad the company isn’t doing well is disrespectful to those that through no fault of their own lost their jobs. Makerbot’s issues have nothing to do with being open source or not being open source. When SSYS was looking at them the growth was astronomical. Everyone and their brother was saying 3D printers would be as ubiquitous as personal computers or microwave ovens.

The bubble has burst. It’s not and never was going to be a consumer technology in the same way that Shop Bots, laser cutters and welders aren’t everyday household item (unless of course you live at my house… :wink: ). The numbers were never realistic, they paid too much for a company with severe issues and now Jaglom has started the bloodletting to bring them back to a managable size with realistic expectations.

(Stephanie A) #13

That’s because the entire 3d printing community, as it exists today, would not exist without open source. Makerbot would not exist without open source. Printrbot, ultimaker, lulzbot, etc. None of these would exist without open source. In fact, we could have had a community like this over 20 years ago if it wasn’t patented. Closed source destroys innovation and slows markets. This market wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the community that created it through open source and open innovation.

(dstevens lv) #14

@Ross_Bagley Those that take open source into consideration or those that are into the technoolgy as much as us are by far a minority. That’s not to discount those people or an open source priority view but the reality was Makerbot bet on a consumer retail market that didn’t live up to expectations. The fact it didn’t work very well and they weren’t able to adequately support it didn’t do them any favors.

The issue here is stalled growth in a shrinking market. They still crank out a lot of machines but maintaining the hockey stick growth chart wasn’t realistic. They sold far, far more of the closed machines than the open machines. Which was after all the fallout from them closing the machines. Those that bought in either didn’t care, didn’t know or both.

I still stand by my comments from the first layoffs that it will become Stratasys Jr with a couple of products to help get people into the SSYS family before moving up to commercial machines. My guess would be those machines will eventually come from either Eden Praire, Tel Aviv or Shenzhen.

(dstevens lv) #15

@Stephanie_A The Reprap movement certainly enabled all those companies to flourish but the general consumer market (which is were Makerbot were heading) is agnostic to open source.

Open source helped build the Internet but most either don’t know or don’t care. The advocates of open source/fsf software are far and few between compared to the general market. How else would Windows have such a dominant position? Or iOS? This isn’t an argument about the merits of open source but rather the realities of the general consumer market.

(Jeremie Francois) #16

@dstevens_lv “consumer market is agnostic to open source”. I agree, and even though I am a proponent of open source (not a zealot either). But the point is elsewhere: there are many more reasons NOT to buy from Makerbot than just ideology. They did it extremely wrong. Regular “no-care customers” should have been more cautious before buying as a lot of red flags were waived because of their (new) stance regarding opensource and their former community that they insulted (i.e. new customers should have done better knowing they also would be considered as meat). If “You get what you pay for”, you mostly do get less than what you pay for with closed source companies when they do too much marketing and bragging… I wrote about this in length at the time: http://www.tridimake.com/2014/06/do-not-buy-makerbot-3d-printers.html

Anyway, both business models can succeed or fail. In the USA, check one of the main alternative, e.g. @LulzBot . Many of their “sensitive/internal/strategical/confidential” documents (like number BOM and providers) are just plain available to the public! They are doing well selling printers, while being fully transparent. Now, without the backing of millions of dollars they did not grow “as big” as Makerbot of course. But unlike the latter they have a solid product, a good reputation, a comunity and a steady and promising business… and more importantly: they almost cannot cheat on their own customers with bullshit because they chose it! You know why you paid for!

Back to MKI: really, I have empathy to the employees that were laid off (starting with Zach!). Even though, it certainly does not mean that the company should go on as is.

As a side not, this is why I work in a private 20-year old and 160-people company where the power is in the hand of employees (really, the majority of the 60 shareholders are employees, and one person equals one vote, and that includes the boss!). This is an unusual business model but it does work well, and we know who reaps the benefits (ie. us together). And we fire the boss when he does a bad job!

(Daid Braam) #17

Totally random, but if you want to have some fun at the expensive of the big red M. We wrote an arcade shooter a year ago which runs on our hobby arcade cabinet at Ultimaker.
Windows version of the software is available at:

But all joy aside on the Makerbot bashing. A lot of people did lose their job now over this. That is a sad thing.

(Ryan Carlyle) #18

I wanna challenge one of the things a lot of people keep repeating: the consumer market is NOT weak. XYZprinting sold 22,000 consumer 3D printers in 2014 while MBI was imploding. MBI simply tried to sell an unreliable product at a premium price, and they failed to capture market share with that model.

(Daid Braam) #19

@Ryan_Carlyle I cannot share Ultimaker numbers, but I can confirm that there is no sign of weakness in our market.

(Ryan Carlyle) #20

All credible indications point to management failure. Specifically, the documented fact that management knew the Smart Extruder wasn’t functional but chose to ship anyway to meet a delivery target. The pre-release testing was grossly inadequate. There wasn’t even working firmware until the day the 5th gens shipped. If management doesn’t care whether the printer works before trying to sell it, the product is going to flop, period. The repeatedly stated objective from Lawton, according to insider reports, was to follow the software startup model to “release a minimum viable product” and patch later. But that model is grossly unsuited to consumer hardware because you can’t remotely patch bad hardware. And this was a consistent trend through Makerbot’s history: the Rep1 and Rep2 both had rocky launches with unresolved hardware issues too.

The lesson here is to be suspicious of projects run by people with a history of bad management decisions. For example, Bre and Lawton are now involved in the Glowforge. Might want to be a little cautious of that…