3D printing companies MakerBot and Ultimaker will merge

MakerBot Industries LLC, a leading provider of desktop 3D printers, today announcement plans to merge with rival Ultimaker BV.

The transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of the third quarter. Next, MakerBot CEO Nadav Goshen and Ultimaker CEO Jürgen von Hollen will lead the combined companies as co-CEOs.

“This merger marks an important milestone for Ultimaker and MakerBot,” von Hollen said in a statement. “Innovation and growth are both key to moving desktop 3D printing from a niche technology to mainstream enterprise adoption. The new company will leverage and expand its combined global footprint with sales and operations in the Americas, EMEA and APAC.

New York-based MakerBot sells a range of 3D printers that can be used to manufacture items such as product prototypes, auto parts and industrial equipment components. The company also offers a range of related offerings. MakerBot provides manufacturing materials for 3D printers, as well as design software that customers can use to manage production.

MakerBot 3D printers are popular among hobbyists and educational institutions. The systems also have commercial applications. A consumer electronics manufacturer, for example, could use a MakerBot 3D printer to quickly create prototypes of an upcoming device. MakerBot’s 3D printers also allow companies to manufacture replacement parts for their industrial equipment, as well as produce custom components to power new hardware products.

Netherlands-based Ultimaker competes in the same market as MakerBot. Ultimaker offers a range of 3D printers, as well as software tools and manufacturing materials. The company’s flagship 3D printer, the Ultimaker S5, can manufacture items using over 200 materials.

MakerBot and Ultimaker were launched in 2009 and 2011 respectively. MakerBot was acquired for $604 million a few years after its launch by Stratasys Ltd., a Nasdaq-listed 3D printer manufacturer. Ultimaker, for its part, raised an undisclosed amount of funding in 2017 from investment firm NPM Capital.

NPM Capital will hold a 54.4% stake in the company that is expected to emerge from the merger of MakerBot and Ultimaker. Stratasys will receive a 45.6% interest. The companies plan to invest $62.4 million in the combined company to help it improve its product portfolio and expand into new markets.

“Technological innovation is paramount to increasing the availability of easy-to-use professional 3D printing solutions,” Goshen said. “By combining our teams and leveraging 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 range of customers and applications.

Photo: MakerBot

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