Brooklyn Startups

Makerbot To Lay Off 30% Of It’s Work Force

Brooklyn 3D Printing Startup Makerbot To Lay Off 30% Of It’s Work Force

Makerbot-factory Makerbot To Lay Off 30% Of It's Work Force

photo: technically.com

When anyone talks about the at home 3D printing industry, Makerbot is always the first name off the tip of their tongue. The company launched in 2009 by entrepreneur Bre Pettis. We first saw Makerbot the following year at a TechCrunch event in New York City. Bre was standing there with other Makerbot executives and printing little toys on a desk top Makerbot. They quickly became a driving force around the consumer 3D printing industry.

As with many technologies and mini industries, as soon as 3D printers caught on companies in Asia started importing 3D printers and selling them at a fraction of the cost in the United States. Of course with the lower cost, quality was compromised when compared to a Makerbot Replicator.

Makerbot was purchased by Stratasys in 2013 for $403 million dollars. Since then, the Minnesota based conglomerate has been cutting costs, and with that employees.

Makerbot had a large manufacturing operation in Brooklyn’s Industry City. About a year ago the parent company started outsourcing it’s manufacturing jobs to China. This was just a year after a huge ribbon cutting ceremony at their 170,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

The companies valuation saw a $100 million dollar dip in their valuation in 2015.

Since the acquisition Makerbot has laid off 40% of it’s workforce, which topped 500 in 2014. Gothamist reports that the layoffs were about 200 positions.

Last week Makerbot announced another layoff of about 30% of it’s workforce. That could amount to another 100 employees or so across their global operations. They haven’t said how many employees in Brooklyn will be affected.

With the layoffs also comes a pivot in their original plan. While they’ve always been about making at home and small business 3D printing solutions, they are pivoting to a more education focused mission.

“The leadership team and I have been working on a new organizational structure, and as part of this new plan we will reduce staff at MakerBot by 30%,” said CEO Nadav Goshen in a statement Wednesday. He added that the company will focus on developing products for the “professional and education segments,”.

The layoffs began last week. Makerbot said they would preferred severance pay and career services to the departing staff.