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MakerBot Partners With Jabil to Increase Production Flexibility

Today, we are taking another step towards positioning MakerBot for the future. We have decided to partner with Jabil, one of the worlds largest design and manufacturing solutions provider, for the production of all MakerBot 3D Printers going forward. Jabil is headquartered in the U.S. with international production facilities.

Leading analysts predict significant growth for the 3D printing industry[1], and we at MakerBot believe that we need to position ourselves today to be able to grow in the future. Since I started as CEO of MakerBot in April 2015, we have taken steps to support a growth strategy focused on disrupting the professional prototyping market and transforming the way educators prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.

To achieve our long-term goals, we also need to be able to navigate the volatility of an emerging market. Working with Jabil will position us to better manage the rapid change in our industry and reduce our manufacturing costs to compete more effectively in a global marketplace. We expect that adopting a flexible manufacturing model will allow us to quickly scale production up or down based on market demands, without the fixed costs associated with maintaining a factory in New York City.

We will transition production from our factory to Jabil over the coming months, which means that we will have to part with some of our talented and hard working colleagues at our factory. I value the commitment and contributions of every single one of them and we will support them as much as possible to find new employment. Taking this step was a very difficult decision, but I believe that it is the right path forward for MakerBot. We will retain key personnel from the factory in-house in the areas of logistics, repair, planning, quality, and operations.

To ensure a smooth transition, the operations team will work closely with Jabil and apply the knowledge we have gained over the last couple of years.Our team will also benefit from the in-depth knowledge and experience of the team at Jabil to further strengthen our focus on product quality.

Our parent company, Stratasys, is also helping us manage this transition. Last year, we started partnering more closely with Stratasys on key initiatives such as quality assurance and product development, and we continue to benefit from Stratasys 25 years of experience in the 3D printing industry. Stratasys has a long history of working with a variety of manufacturing partners, which is yet another area where we can benefit from their deep knowledge and expertise.

[1] http://www.canalys.com/newsroom/global-3d-printing-market-reach-202-billion-2019

Update: This blog post has been updated with the name of the contract manufacturer, Jabil.

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