When MakerBot was born some years ago, the focus was entirely on personal 3D printing; now that’s changed.
After the acquisition of MakerBot by Stratasys in 2013, it became clear the company had to increase its revenue streams to justify the enormous purchase price paid by Stratasys. As personal 3D printing was – and still is – a niche market, Stratasys wisely decided to turn more focus towards markets with more revenue potential: Professionals and Institutions.
The big feature they developed for institutions was the “MakerBot Innovation Center”, a combination of hardware and software that creates a giant array of 3D printers that can be operated from a central point. It’s just the thing for larger institutions to use for larger-scale 3D printing operations.
Now MakerBot has announced the “Starter Lab Pro”, which is quite similar to the Innovation Center, but on a smaller scale. The service includes: 3D printers, hardware protection plan, materials supply, software and a number of accessories to make it all work together.
Specifically, you get:
- Two Replicators
- Two Replicator 2X’s
- One Replicator Z18
- Five replacement Smart Extruders
- MakerCare for everything
- Seventy (!) spools of various plastic filaments
- Racking for machine placement
- Cart and case for Z18
- Build plate tape
So this is a small cluster of 3D printing gear that again can be centrally operated. We suspect you can adjust the configuration slightly when ordering. It’s a way for professional firms, such as a design or architecture practice, to quickly get going on 3D printing. MakerBot says they’ll deliver a system to you in only 2-4 weeks. However, there are no set prices for this service; you must receive a quote based on your specific situation from MakerBot or one of their growing authorized resellers.
Some may say that firms may be overpaying for their 3D printing function with this MakerBot option, and that a combination of other, lower-priced machines might be better.
That’s probably true – but organizing such a thing is often beyond the capability of professional offices, whose expertise is in other skill areas. With this offering, MakerBot makes the choice very simple for a business: Just select the product and you’ll be up and running.