3D printer company Makerbot lays off 20% of its staff all over again

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But wait… I thought… aren’t we all 3D printing everything we own now?


We’re now just printing 3D printers, so, no need for Makerbot.



Contract production of the 4th Gen printers to “focus” on producing current gen printers in-house sounds a lot like they’re going to phase-out in-house manufacturing going forward and become a design-only shop. Of course I could be wrong.

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They probably just printed replacement workers.


What is Bre Pettis up to these days?

Was totally confused by the headline - I thought they had re-hired the 20% they previously laid off, and now laid them off again. But it looks like they’re laying off another 20% of their workforce.

This news doesn’t really surprise me, though. 3D printing is neat and all, but it still seems very expensive to be adopted by the masses, at least for what you can do with it. I really want to get myself a 3d printer to play with, but I haven’t been able to find a usage that would convince the wife to let me shell out the cashola for one.



#Fuck you, you liar

Tell the goddamn truth, you are beholden to a parent company that wants to make more money but fucked it up. So now the people you care about so much are unemployed.

Die in a toilet fire. (Only figuratively)


Yeah, they would’ve done better without Stratasys’ meddling I imagine.

Nice guys when I met them at a local maker space, too.


Sure, growth is only possible with 20 % less workforce. And he must be right: He’s an Executive MBA and I’m a lowly human.

I feel honoured, he teaches me valuable lessons.

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Most people are nice, and an even higher percentage are outrageously cool when they share the same passions as you.

I propose Japhraoigs Law:

If you say you care about people then fire them, you don’t care about people.

Japhroaigs Corollary:

If you hire a highly paid HR exec to do the firing for you, you are a shit human.

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It’s possible to find decent filament printers for $300 - $600 these days, and now they even sell one at Wal-Mart for $280 (a rather tiny one compared to the only slightly more expensive one I bought elsewhere, but still looks usable).

For myself, I think the big issues with these is that a lot of people don’t know (and aren’t interested in learning) how to use a 3D modeler to create the model they want to print. Without that skill, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever other people have put together. Unfortunately, a lot of what a 3D printer is good for around the house (other than making cute little toys) is creating special-use doo-dads that aren’t likely to have been already created by someone else.


Unfortunately, being in Canada with our shitty dollar at the moment (Thanks, oil prices!), that $300-600 translates to a hefty $390-780CAD. Frownface.

There’s already been at least once instance where I could think of a use for one around the house (to print out replacement feet and clamps for the used washer/dryer pedestals that I bought that didn’t come with them, and turn out to be very expensive to purchase)… But those replacement parts are still cheaper than buying a 3d printer, even a cheap one. Double frownface.

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i’m confused, i thought makerbot was bought out by a bigger company some time ago (for a huge chunk of change). are they running it as a wholly-owned subsidiary or something?

Yes, and it’s unlikely that’s ever going to change. You certainly shouldn’t buy a printer by comparing it to the cost of a single job, any more than you would buy a washer by comparing it to the cost of replacing everything in your current load of laundry. You’ve got to look at what you’re likely to use it for over a period of time to determine whether it’s too expensive or not. The calculation varies a lot depending on situation and skills… but the prices have gotten rather low at this point, assuming the skills and desire to use it for multiple things.

Take a long-term view. Pretty much every printable replacement part will be way less expensive than the printer. Their aggregate cost over time can however easily add up.

And things get more pronounced when children - and the cost of toys - get into the image. The toy industry margins on mass-produced injection-moulded pieces of cheap polymer are downright obscene. In such scenario, a printer can quite well amortize its cost in low few years.

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How does that work?

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I am quite aware of this. Unfortunately, no amount of “But I could do this for lots of things in the future, I promise” is willing to sway her. Nor is the “I could use it to print out cheap happy-meal type toys that the kids would love” argument swaying her any, either. Le sigh…

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So of course… Printcrime.


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