Ultimaker and MakerBot merge into a 3D printing giant


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

The companies are joining forces because, according to a release on the merger, they want to speed global adoption of 3D printing. To aid in this process, the new corporation is getting a $62.4 million investment and plans to put that money into growing the hardware and software side of things.

The new mega-company doesn’t have an official name yet, but will probably announce one when the deal is close to being finalized. Right now, the merger is expected to close sometime between Q2 and Q3 2022. The companies are currently working on getting government approval from their respective countries.

Ultimaker is from The Netherlands while MakerBot makes its home in New York. Despite the long-distance, this relationship appears to be one where both companies have equal say in operations. The CEO of each company will remain in their positions as Co-CEOs and handle different aspects of the business.

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

The announcement adds that both teams will be expanding their portfolio “…to serve a wide spectrum of customers and applications.” We reached out to MakerBot and Ultimaker for comments on what these applications are and in which industries they'll appear.

Unfortunately, company representatives remained tight-lipped about the future. Ultimaker did say it plans on inspiring “responsible and sustainable manufacturing”.

Analysis: Still a growing industry

Despite the global supply chain issues that ravaged companies throughout the pandemic, the 3D printing industry weathered the storm pretty well. According to a report by 3D Printing Industry, shipments of industrial 3D printers worth more than $100,000 went up 39 percent. The report adds that if it wasn't for the supply chain problem, the numbers would’ve been higher. Demand far outweighed supply and it hasn’t gone away.

One of the more recent 3D printers released is Ultimaker's Ultimaker S5. The machine saw favorable reviews by critics who praised how well it printed objects, its flexibility with materials, and the high-quality software. But they did criticize its price tag ($5,995) and some print flaws.

A price point that high may scare away consumers, but industrial customers have a different appreciation. It’ll 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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