MakerBot is an American manufacturer of 3D printers, headquartered in New York. Originally based on RepRap printers, the company was established in 2009. After some time, MakerBot distanced itself from the RepRap and open-source 3D printer movement and decided to sell a range of closed solutions only. In 2013, the company was acquired by Stratasys, one of the leading additive manufacturing solutions company. MakerBot is also the founder and operates Thingiverse, the largest online 3D printing community and file repository.
Since their inception Makerbot have sold over 100,000 printers, making them one of the largest 3D printer manufacturers in the world, particularly for the desktop segment. In fact, all of MakerBot’s machines are desktop 3D printers, whether or not they are dedicated to industrial sectors. In 2012, MakerBot gained market share when it released its Replicator 2 system – perfect for creating professional-quality, high-resolution prototypes and complex models with common thermoplastics such as PLA.
In 2013, Makerbot unveiled its 5th generation of 3D printers with the Replicator 5G, Replicator Mini and Replicator Z18 printers, which can quickly produce ultra-precise physical objects from 3D models. These printers offer improved performance, their resolution can reach up to 100 microns, and a larger print volume of up to 6,718 cm3. This is 37% higher than the previous model.
MakerBot is focused on the professional and educational sectors
Since the company has released a line dedicated to the professional and education sectors. MakerBot manufactures and sells the SKETCH Classroom range for schools and teachers and the METHOD range for professionals. The SKETCH Classroom, which came out in February 2020, has been designed to be a reliable 3D printing setup for the classroom, giving students more access to 3D printing and giving teachers the right tools and resources to teach. On the other hand, the METHOD and METHOD X solutions are industrial desktop 3D printers dedicated to creating end-use parts, manufacturing tools and functional prototypes.
MakerBot’s latest release is the METHOD Carbon Fiber Edition, which is based on the METHOD platform developed in December 2018 but is preconfigured with a new extruder compatible with composite materials: this one will be available as an upgrade for the METHOD and METHOD X machines.