We’re reading this article on Inside Monkey entitled, “Someone Needs to Buy MakerBot Already, Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS)?”
The premise of the piece is that one of 3D Systems, Stratasys or Amazon (!) should acquire MakerBot. Wait, let’s correct that, one of these mega-corps should have ALREADY acquired little MakerBot. The author is surprised this hasn’t happened.
We’re not surprised at all. Let’s have a look at each of these proposed acquirers.
First, 3D Systems. Why would they need to take over MakerBot when they already have several successful lines of personal 3D printers? They also have patents on multiple 3D printing processes, each of which could be used to create a revolutionary personal device.
Second, Stratasys. If you’ve been following Stratasys’ strategy it has nothing to do with the consumer market. They have focused entirely on industry, which, if you haven’t noticed, is almost a wide open field for growth. They have no need for the consumer market.
And Amazon. We can’t see this option. Amazon would be far more likely to set up shop selling 3D models for printing on ANY 3D printer because that’s better aligned with their core business: selling content. They could be the Wal-Mart of 3D models if they so chose. But sell a single line of devices? Maybe as a mechanism to support their (future) 3D model business – but that doesn’t exist yet!
Meanwhile, MakerBot’s success has been partly based on their peculiar DIY/hipster marketing approach, one which cannot be duplicated by any of the above. Any of those companies would likely dissipate MakerBot’s marketing success quickly.
So what happens? We suspect MakerBot will continue on its own for a while yet.