MakerBot and Ultimaker have agreed a merger in order to accelerate global adoption of additive manufacturing, forming a new entity that will be backed by existing investors Stratasys and NPM Capital.
Both side have announced the business combination agreement that looks to provide a comprehensive desktop 3D printing ecosystem of hardware, software, and materials, with the apparent goal to create entry level, professional grade products that can help encourage take-up of additive manufacturing at a greater scale.
The new company will be led by Nadav Goshen, current MakerBot CEO, and Jürgen von Hollen, current Ultimaker CEO, who will act as Co-CEOs, with Nadav managing operations.
“This merger marks an important milestone for Ultimaker and MakerBot,” says von Hollen. “Innovation and growth are both critical to bringing desktop 3D printing from a specialty technology into mainstream business adoption. The new company will leverage and expand its combined global footprint with sales and operations in the Americas, EMEA and APAC.”
“Technological innovation is paramount in growing the availability of easy-to-use professional 3D printing solutions,” added Goshen.
“By combining our teams and leveraging the additional funding, we can accelerate the development of advanced solutions to provide our customers with a broad portfolio of hardware and software solutions to serve a wide spectrum of customers and applications.”
When we asked about the increasing squeeze being put on the two companies from improving cheaper alternative desktop 3D printers below, and the increasing take-up of ‘professional’ FDM solutions such as the numbers reported by Stratasys for its F123 Series, Goshen suggested that the new MakerBot Ultimaker merger would be about increasing the overall take-up and education in 3D Printing.
“One of the problems that the American government identified is the lack of education for additive manufacturing in the workplace,” said Goshen. “So I think this is where I think there is there is a very strong complementary element between us and highend. We’ll get more users into additive manufacturing, because we provide to them an engineering grade affordable 3d printer, and I think that will just grow the market will not squeeze it.”
The MakerBot Ultimaker merger has secured additional funding of $62.4M to fuel global 3D printing innovation, with the new entity targeting easy-to-use and accessible desktop 3D printing solutions for any application while inspiring the industry to a future state of responsible and sustainable manufacturing.
The new company will maintain headquarters in both The Netherlands and New York, USA. The transaction is subject to consultation of appropriate employee representative bodies and regulatory approvals, with closing currently expected over the course of the second or third quarters of 2022.
Stratasys CEO Dr. Yoav Zeif, said: “By combining the strengths of MakerBot and Ultimaker, the new entity will have a broad technology offering, be sufficient in scale, well capitalised and have a focused leadership team to better compete in the highly attractive Desktop 3D printing sector.
“Today’s announcement is consistent with our strategy to focus on industrial and production scale polymer-based additive manufacturing solutions. This transaction is designed to benefit our shareholders by enabling them to own two leading companies with best-in-class technology and focused management teams that will be able to successfully deliver solutions to customers in two highly attractive but different areas of the 3D printing market.”
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