While I was away last week, I did manage to pick up on the news that Makerbot is ceasing shipments of its kit 3D printer, the Thing-o-matic. I can’t quite explain why, but I had rather an emotional response to that news, in that I found it rather sad. I think it is maybe to do with the fact that it conjures a sense of Makerbot moving away from its RepRap origins.
But on a business level it’s a savvy move.
As the 3D printing capabilities gap continues to narrow (mostly in small increments, there is still a way to go) and with the slew of new entry level 3D printers, both in kit form and assembled, Makerbot’s market position is shifting towards the centre. It is still left of centre, but there is visible movement.
Entry level —>—>—>—> Mid Range —>—>—>—>Production Machines