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MakerBot Industries is Shutting Down New York Assembly Facility, Moving Production to Contract Manufacturer Jabil

by • April 24, 2016 • No Comments

MakerBot-LogoOne other day, another huge alter to the scrappy little 3D printing startup that kicked off the entire modern computer 3D printing phenomenon. Since MakerBot Industries launched back in 2009, a point of pride for them was their New York facility where all of their 3D printing equipment were created and manufactured. It assisted them store connected to their early, manufacturerspace roots, and seemed to be part of the identity of the company as a leader in the hobby/computer 3D printing device market. But at any time since they were purchased by Stratasys in 2013, they have moved of as far away of the hobby/computer market as a hobby/computer 3D printing device can move, focvia instead on education and tiny businesses.

Whilst both of those areas are most likely additional lucrative, it hasn’t done much for the company’s profitability, that has remained a drag on Stratasys’ stock prices, and has led to sat any timeal rounds of layoffs over the last year. And it looks like there are in fact additional layoffs in the next for MakerBot Industries, who only revealed that going forward they can no longer be building MakerBot 3D printing equipment at their factory in New York City. Instead, they have signed a deal with global contract developer Jabil, who can take over all making and assembly of the MakerBot family of 3D printing equipment. Whilst Jabil is headquartered in the US, they have production facilities all over the world. MakerBot did not manufacture it clear if production may in addition be moved overseas.

Jonathan Jaglom

Jonathan Jaglom

MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom cites the predicted growth of the 3D printing industry and his company’s require to position itself in a rapidly changing market. Certainly production and making flexibility has played a role in this choice, that couldn’t have been an effortless one to manufacture. But being able-bodied to rapidly scale up or down production appears to be a necessity in a market that does not seem to be caning to deal with long lead times anyadditional. Working with a company like Jabil allows for MakerBot to create 3D printing equipment faster, and store costs down during periods when they may require less stock, a thing that is not possible with the fixed costs of a dedicated production facility.

“We can transition production of our factory to Jabil over the coming months, that means that we can have to part with a few of our talented and complex working colleagues at our factory. I value the dedication and contributions of at any timey single one of them and we can assist them as much as possible to find new employment. Taking this step was a quite complex decision, but I believe that it is the right path forward for MakerBot. We can retain key personnel of the factory in-house in the areas of logistics, repair, planning, high end, and operations,” Jaglom wrote on MakerBot’s blog, where the alter was revealed in these days.

The floor of the MakerBot Factory in New York City.

The floor of the MakerBot Factory in New York City.

Whilst this is most likely a wise business move, it is yet both unlucky and disappointing. Howat any time since they were acquired by Stratasys, it was inevitable-bodied that in facttually MakerBot may join their parent company via a much like production version, howat any time I’ve been told that this was an in house choice created by MakerBot leadership, not one forced upon them by Stratasys. Whilst MakerBot has been working with a contract developer for their fourth-generation product line since their October restructuring, at the time they did not say whether or not this was Jabil. After working with a third party making facility, MakerBot decided that having a production facility in New York was most likely not in the company’s most interest. Unfortunately, removing assembly of a dedicated production facility may lead to assembly or high end control issues, not that they weren’t may already having those, so it remains to be seen if this move can assist them or end up hurting them in the long run. MakerBot told us that this move is in fact meant to improve product and assembly high end, and to be fair to Jabil, they are a leader in tech assembly, with a long list of clients and a solid reputation.

Certainly MakerBot can require to maintain a few sort of production facility near their company headquarters in New York, primarily for prototyping, factory repairs and high end control monitoring. Howat any time there has been no word on what shape that can take or how most of the staff can ultimately be let go. Jaglom has indicated that the the operations team can be working closely with Jabil to assist with the transition, but he did not provide a specific time frame for how long that is expected to take. How do you see this boding for the next of MakerBot? Discuss in the MakerBot Outsourcing forum over at 3DPB.com.MB-Jabil-700x280