Ultimaker and MakerBot merge into a 3D printing giant

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MakerBot and Ultimaker, two of the biggest names in the 3D printing industry, are merging into one big company.

The companies are joining forces because, according to a statement about the merger, they want to accelerate the global adoption of 3D printing. To facilitate this process, the new company is receiving an investment of $62.4 million and plans to invest this money in hardware and software growth.

The new mega-company doesn’t have an official name yet, but will likely announce one when the deal is nearing finalization. At present, the merger is expected to close between the second and third quarters of 2022. The companies are currently working to obtain government approval in their respective countries.

Ultimaker hails from the Netherlands while MakerBot calls New York home. Despite the long distance, this relationship seems to be one where both companies have a say in operations. The CEO of each company will remain in their role as co-CEO and manage different aspects of the business.

MakerBot CEO Nadav Goshen will handle research and development while Ultimaker CEO Jürgen von Hollen will control marketing.

The announcement adds that the two teams will expand their portfolio “…to serve a wide range of customers and applications.” We’ve reached out to MakerBot and Ultimaker for feedback on what these apps are and in which industries they’ll appear.

Unfortunately, company representatives remained silent on the future. Ultimaker said he plans on inspiring “responsible and sustainable manufacturing”.

Analysis: an industry still growing

Despite the global supply chain issues that have plagued businesses throughout the pandemic, the 3D printing industry has weathered the storm quite well. According to a report by 3D Printing Industry, shipments of industrial 3D printers worth more than $100,000 increased by 39%. The report adds that without the supply chain issue, the numbers would have been higher. Demand has greatly exceeded supply and it has not gone away.

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The Ultimaker S5 from Ultimaker is one of the newest 3D printers. The machine received favorable reviews from critics who praised its object printing quality, flexibility with materials, and high-quality software. But they criticized its price ($5,995) and some printing flaws.

Such a high price may scare off consumers, but industrial customers have a different appreciation. It will be very interesting to see what this new merger brings to the 3D printing market and 3D printer customers at all ends of the spectrum.

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