The Real Deal New York

MakerBot shutters stores, lays off employees

The 3D printing firm was a poster child for manufacturing in NYC

April 22, 2015 03:21PM

Makerbot 3D printer (credit: Makerbot)

Makerbot 3D printer (credit: Makerbot)

MakerBot, the 3D printing company that has been trumpeted as a symbol of manufacturing in New York City, has hit a rough patch.

The company confirmed it is laying off some employees and shutting its three retail stores, including its flagship at 298 Mulberry Street in Nolita, Crain’s reported. However, it will maintain its 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Industry City and move ahead with plans to expand there later this year.

“We’ve learned to embrace change in order to stay focused,” read a statement on MakerBot’s website. “We at MakerBot are reorganizing our business in order to focus on what matters most to our customers.”

A company representative would not give specifics, but tech blog Motherboard estimated that 100 people — about 20 percent of Makerbot’s workforce — were let go.

Stratasys bought MakerBot for $403 million in 2013. Since September, Stratasys’ stock is down 60 percent.

Earlier this year, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito cited MakerBot as a New York City manufacturing success story. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann