MakerBot lays off 30% of its staff as company’s scope narrows

MakerBot is laying off 30 percent of its staff as part of an ongoing effort to adapt to a changing market, the company announced in a blog post today.

The failure of the 3D printing market to explode as expected has put pressure on the numerous companies spawned when the technology was emerging into the mainstream. MakerBot has been working to make itself more competitive and focused since its acquisition by Stratasys in 2013 for more than $400 million.

“We have to make additional changes to lower costs and to support our long-term goals,” wrote CEO Nadav Goshen. “As part of these changes, we will further integrate our hardware and software product development under one team.”

The company declined to comment on who makes up the 30 percent being laid off — sales, engineering, support? — and the exact numbers are unclear, as well. A different layoff of 20 percent of the company in 2015 amounted to around 80 people (from a total of about 400 at the time), so somewhere around 80-100 people is probably about right. They’ll receive severance pay and re-employment services.

MakerBot was careful to couch the news with proclamations that its latest product line has been well received — and so it has, certainly at least by us. The company’s new narrower focus on education and enterprise, as opposed to the consumer world at large, may yet pay dividends, but for now the costs are still mounting.