If you missed the MakerBot press conference live stream then you’re a lucky pup, the thing was plagued with technical details; audio juddering or cutting out entirely, camera going off and hackers entering the chat.
Anyway we persisted with it and are bringing you the highlights of the biggest desktop 3D printing story so far: First of all, we all know that the leading desktop 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, merged with one of the world’s leading industrial 3D printer manufacturers, Stratasys, right? Well it is kind of a big deal, one worth a reported $400 million , which excited MakerBot CEO, Bre Pettis, a great deal.
Bre was first up at the press conference to discuss how MakerBot had arrived at this point. “We may have started MakerBot in 2009 but I’d been tinkering with 3D printing for years… what do you do when you can’t afford something [A 3D printer]? You make it yourself right? That’s where MakerBot came from”
Bre went on to discuss how exciting the merger is but was very keen to stress how MakerBot will remain a separate entity to Stratasys despite announcing that MakerBot was now a public company at the start.
One of the possibilities Bre is very excited about is the fact that those using Stratasys’ machines could now be joining the thingiverse revolution. A possibility that worries some folk, more on that later.
Next up on the podium was David Reis, CEO of Stratasys. The differences between the two companies are reflecting in the two Chief Execs. David Reis was straight down the line business as opposed to Bre's more laid back and hipster like style. Something Mr. Reis himself pointed out straight away "this is the first time I've been called cool."
David Reis was keen to talk about the size of Stratasys and how that will benefit MakerBot “Think of Stratasys as a supermarket of technologies… MakerBot now have access to that supermarket”
The technologies David Reis is probably referring to is the patents that Stratasys have had a stranglehold over, which some say is holding back desktop 3D printing. Technologies like a heated chamber or soluble support material. If the next MakerBot could add those to its already market-leading machines then well, you can guess the rest.
There are some dissenters of course; leading 3D designer Dizingof has now pulled his designs from Thingiverse due to an on-going dispute with Stratasys over the use of his designs. Josef Prusa already pulled his designs and is glad to have done so as he took to twitter for a told you so.
Is this merger to the benefit of desktop 3D printing? Let us know in the poll to the right hand side >>>