It was just announced that MakerBot and Ultimaker are merging, into well it might be Ultrabot, it might be Maker Maker who knows. This merger is actually really weird because we don't really see what the one is getting from the other. MakerBot is actually owned by Stratasys. Stratasys bought MakerBot several years ago and since then has had to take about a one billion dollar haircut and write off from owning MakerBot because it's been a wildly bad decision. MakerBot made machines that nobody really wanted but Stratasys has been pushing to make MakerBot kind of the prosumer type of printer brand, that is very similar to what Ultimaker is. There are synergies there but it's still odd because we don't know how it's helping Ultimaker. It appears that Ultimaker might just be in a bad spot and trying to find more ways to expand its market reach by getting the customer list that MakerBot has and just shoving Ultimate current’s machines into there.
Stratasys is basically selling MakerBot to Ultimaker in exchange for stock and Ultimaker so Stratasys will own a portion of the new “Ultabot” Company. Ultimaker will be able to have access to Stratasys which has a great customer base and a very strong position within the FDM type market, the prosumer, and eventually mass-production relative to the professional market of people who would be utilizing these machines. So it makes sense that Ultimaker would do that in order to get access to more customers but Ultimaker is what would be considered probably a fairly premium brand. They're in the realm of the kind of an Apple-type brand in the context of the 3d printing industry. MakerBot on the other hand is very much not. If Ultimaker is Apple, MakerBot is a bad Microsoft. MakerBot has had a very negative connotation for the last several years around their machines because they are not good machines. They have not been historical good machines that have been favored by the industry or by customers. This is why Stratasys took the haircut but Ultimaker can breathe some fresh RD and some value into the assets of Makerbot. There's value there to Stratasys and Stratasys has a customer base that is fairly locked in that they can then give to Ultimaker so that's how it makes sense but the brand cohesiveness is not there. I would imagine that MakerBot might just disappear completely and Ultimaker just absorbs it completely because MakerBot has no real brand power out there right now.
Let us know what you think about this merger down in the comments. Let us know anything you think about how it's going down, why they did it, and how you think it's going to go because we'd love to hear what you think and see how this all plays out! Have a great day everybody!