Choosy Thieves Smash & Grab 22 Polar 3D Printers in Midnight Raid, Snubbing MakerBots–and Inspiring an Extruder Trade-In

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12427738-polar-3d-logo (1)We may think we know a lot about 3D printing, but so do the bad guys. As soon as high-tech wares hit the streets and are able to offer out-of-this-world innovation–affordably–it’s not just your interest that is piqued.

And while you may be busy placing a 3D printer under the tree this year legitimately purchased for the fam and bearing a big red bow, other technology will not have been acquired and shared in such an innocent manner. We’ve covered numerous accounts of criminals using their 3D printers to create fraudulent equipment such as cards and ATM bezels, along with a host of other items.

We know they’ve got the equipment in their hands, but we didn’t know they were quite so name-brand-conscious. And while they might not exactly be worrying about what’s affordable, for obvious reasons, a group of recent criminals have come to our attention, unknowingly becoming a spectacular advertisement for Polar 3D, a manufacturer based in Cincinnati and known for their flagship 3D printer which is one of the most reliable and easiest to use.

polar3d4We’ve been following Polar 3D for quite some time, as it offers a much larger build size, it’s solid and sleek, quiet, designed for school use, and is very affordable. It features an open design with great viewing for the user, showing off the unique features of this desktop 3D printer which is the first to be based on polar coordinates.

Able to produce large objects from what it is a relatively compact machine, this 3D printer weighs only 10.3 lbs, and measures just 8″ x 12.5″ x 14″, but it is capable of printing objects with a diameter of 8″ and a height of 6″.

In the wee hours of a muggy August night, thieves battered in the doors to the headquarters of Polar 3D in Cincinnati, Ohio. Equipped with numerous, tall laundry baskets, they performed a streamlined mission to steal 22 Polar 3D printers in a mere six minutes. Caught on video, they made their escape, leaving behind all the MakerBots, as lonely as a handful of Bit-o-Honeys ostracized from your heaping Halloween bucket full of treats. MakerBot has suffered a lot of conflicting press lately due to layoffs and restructurings of all sorts–and apparently even the underworld is educated regarding 3D printer consumerism.

Let’s face it. Crime sucks. No one likes getting the call from the security company, or arriving to the office to find glass and destruction everywhere–not to mention missing items. But the team at Polar 3D dusted themselves off very quickly and they are making a positive out of a negative regarding the smash and grab at their headquarters.

“The thieves didn’t steal the Polar 3D printers because they knew of the recent industry accolades and awards,” stated the Polar 3D team. “They stole the printers because they were good at math. The sleek, lightweight, uniquely open-view Polar 3D is a desktop printer that produces four times the build volume and is 75% LESS EXPENSIVE than MakerBot.”

Once the team at Polar 3D recovered from the mess, they realized what had happened and were certainly more than a bit amused regarding the nighttime ring of bandit’s choice in desktop machines. Even having a bit of fun with what most might have viewed as a serious bummer, they stated:

“Due to the obvious targeting of the Polar 3D printers, a criminal profiler was hired and was able to narrow the likely suspects down to disenchanted, yet quality conscious, Makerbot customers. Because of these findings, the Polar 3D team was inspired to launch the ’Be Smart’ MakerBot Extruder Trade-In Program.

UntitledGiving numerous 3D printing enthusiasts the chance to enjoy ‘discounted’ hardware as well, now anyone who turns in their MakerBot Extruder to Polar 3D receives a coupon worth $100 off their Polar 3D Printer purchase, taking the retail price down to $699.

Educational organizations, teachers, and students can also purchase 3D printers–but at a much deeper discounted retail price of $499. Check out more information on that program at “Be Smart!”

“If you’ve followed MakerBot’s purchase instructions and bought three ‘backup’ smart extruders – no worries!” says the Polar 3D team. “Trade all three of them into Polar 3D and you will receive three $100 coupons.”

This should all be of great interest to those in the educational market, which is where Polar 3D is most dedicated. The unique ‘polar’ coordinated 3D printer is also accompanied by the Polar Cloud, which provides users with ability to create, access and share content while managing and controlling printers in a secure, online environment.

Let us know your thoughts on this recent theft in the Polar 3D Forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Polar 3D does state there is only one coupon allowed per printer, with the offer valid up until Dec. 31, 2015.

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