A Decade of Makerbot

To look back at Makerbot's decade you'd have to examine their 2nd to 10th year in business.

 

 

 

The company appeared in 2009 under Bre Petis, Adam Meyer and Zach Smith. Rapidly the company became the face of their industry. They were surrounded by hype and buzz. It attracted millions of venture capital dollars throughout the year of 2011 (their 3rd in business.)

 

The company underwent a dramatic shift through the second half of the decade. This involves the launch of it's METHOD series of 3D printers. This finally showcased one of the perks of being a Stratasys company.

 

 

Makerbot's Vice President of Engineering: Dave Veisz whole-heartedly agreed; saying “I’d say this is the first machine that we’ve come out with that actually shows the benefit of working as a Stratasys company.”

 

The Method was released on December 11th, 2018 - the METHOD X followed eight months later - and features a Circulating Heated Chamber, designed off the back of Stratasys IP to recirculate hot air inside the build chamber and ensure good layer strength and dimensional accuracy. This is something Stratasys has pushed for a while.

 

It has also opened up MakerBot to the printing of materials that it previously couldn’t process on earlier platforms and, in turn, new users, partners and applications.

 

MakerBot’s materials approach is divided. It has, in the last 12 months, made PLA, PETG, Tough, Nylon, ABS and ASA filaments available. The latter two only for the Method X platform with its 100°C build chamber capabilities.

 

Makerbot's engineer Veisz went on to say “The idea, here, is that these are more niche materials that we want to provide a solution for but maybe they don’t justify the resources that it takes to spool up, ship and go through our reliability programme,” Veisz explained. “However, if we see that [for example] the [Mitsubishi Chemical] DURABIO material takes off and a lot of people use it then we’ll go through that exercise and we’ll sell it as a MakerBot material or Mitsubishi/ MakerBot material.

 

Makerbot have been consistently pushing forward to excel in their field.

 

It might not seem like anything ‘new’ when MakerBot launches a Nylon material like it did last month, but for MakerBot, one of the most notable 3D printing brands around, it actually is.

 

Add to that capabilities like the Method’s heated chamber that none of its competitors can offer until at least 2021 when Stratasys’ patent expires, plus partners like Mitsubishi, KIMYA, Jabil and Polymaker enabling high-performance materials, MakerBot looks to be edging back on track.

 

Veisz’s team of engineers is working hard to improve the Method platforms further, looking to develop new intellectual property.