Earlier today, at a press conference in Brooklyn, MakerBot announced two new 3d printers and spent significant time discussing the company's efforts to reinvent itself after a meteoric rise and then precipitous fall.
“We have gone through a cultural shift here at MakerBot over the past year, where listening and understanding the needs of our customers are cornerstones of our company. As a result, we’ve gained an in-depth understanding of the wider needs of professionals and educators that has informed our product development process,” said Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot.
Jaglom has noted in the past couple of months that in his opinion the future for MakerBot lies not in the consumer market his team once chased, but in working with businesses and schools where those constituencies see real value in using 3d printing technology.
“Our new solutions for professionals and educators are based on feedback addressing how we could accelerate and streamline the iterative design process and make teaching with a desktop 3D printer easier and more effective.”
Along with the announced pivot into the classroom and business environments - both of which they already own notable market shares in - the company also unveiled the Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ 3d printers, which will feature larger build volumes and faster print speeds than earlier versions and, at least for a few months, will see a reduction in price.
Price has been a concern for MakerBot in the last couple of years as dozens of new entrants arrived in the desktop 3d printer market with capable machines at lower prices.
Today's news from MakerBot is yet another sign that there are places where 3d printing can be useful - schools, hospitals and businesses - and other places where it's of lesser value - the home.
"The new MakerBot Print and Mobile applications are designed to allow professionals to easily integrate MakerBot into their workflow and help educators introduce their students to 3D printing," the company said.