Just last week, MakerBot boasted physical stores in New York City, Boston and Greenwich, CT. Now, the 3D printer company has closed all three locations and will lay off 120 employees.
“These organizational moves are part of the continued scaling of MakerBot,” said David Reis, CEO of Stratasys, a larger firm that bought MakerBot back in 2013.
That may not be the full story though, and BuzzFeed argues that these cutbacks are the result of several years of unchecked expansion at MakerBot. The New York-based company apparently hired 200 employees after it was acquired. It even unveiled three new 3D printers at a single event last year.
“It’s a painful day, but we know why it had to happen,” one MakerBot employee told BuzzFeed. “They were just recklessly growing this company, bringing on people at a rate that was just insane.”
Despite all that growth, the company’s profits failed to pick up. Stratasys took a $102 million write-down late last year, when it blamed slow growth at MakerBot for the loss. Overall, it appears that the explosion in 3D printing many were hoping for is still many years away. For now, MakerBot may have to continue on as a niche business, despite its lofty ambitions.