I congratulate @bre_pettis for his financial and business acumen, but I absolutely cannot support the direction Makerbot has taken. It was a flagship Open Hardware company, but as soon as Tangibot put their openness to the test they started down the path of patents, lawyers, and secrecy. Now they are just another commercial 3d printer company, a subsidiary of the largest printer company no less. It wouldn’t be as galling if they hadn’t started out as such an interesting company, but their actions no longer match their revolutionary rhetoric. Money is a powerful motivator. From a businessman’s perspective, this is a great success. From a technologist’s and humanist perspective, this is a sad day.
He seems to be making the same mistakes that Apple computer did against the PC. Closed down, expensive, and less functional than the competition, but aesthetically pleasing and well-marketed. In the meantime the energy and innovation of the maker community will move on to where they can give and take.
I am deeply concerned about the fate of the community built Thingiverse and what plans Stratasys has for those designs. Their TOS gives them a lot of latitude to use them how they see fit, and their shareholders will expect a return on their investment.
I think @Adrian_Bowyer is correct in that this will make the Makerbot an evolutionary dead end. The community will move on to designs that are unencumbered by intellectual property. Cloning is a virtue, not a drawback, and the less you share with others, the less they will share with you. Eventually you will have to do it all yourself. Open collaboration will prevail against any finite group of employees, no matter how talented.