Stratasys Buys 3D Printer Pioneer MakerBot In $403M Deal

In the 3D printing world, MakerBot is as strong a brand name as there is on the desktop side of the industry, and now it’s been acquired by Stratasys, a company that’s made its mark on the heavier-duty side of things such as additive manufacturing. The deal is worth $403 million in a stock-for-stock transaction.

MakerBot will become a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, and CEO and nerd quasi-celeb Bre Pettis will remain head honcho of the MakerBot group. Even better, the company will retain all of its exciting partnerships with the likes of Autodesk, Adafruit, and OUYA, as well as industry behemoths Nokia and Amazon, and will continue to thrive under the new ownership.

Makerbot Replicator 2
Makerbot Replicator 2

It seems to be a match made in 3D printing heaven. Stratasys can now offer a more complete line of 3D printing-related devices and products, and MakerBot gets to keep doing its thing, but with much deeper pockets.

3D printing is still in some ways a fledgling industry, but it’s growing fast. For example, Stratasys says that MakerBot has sold 22,000 of its 3D printers since 2009; half of those sales have been in the past nine months alone.

The deal is expected to wrap up in Q3 2013.