Despite all of the cunning innovations being developed across the additive manufacturing spectrum this year, nothing set the news headlines ablaze like the immensely popular 3D printing company MakerBot and their decision to shut down their Brooklyn-based manufacturing plant and move their 3D printer production to China. Although the move conjured up a fair amount of disappointment across the industry, MakerBot is still focused on providing their desktop 3D printers to schools and businesses across the United States and beyond.
With a prominent stronghold on the East Coast 3D printing scene already, and a major shift of focus towards STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, MakerBot seems to have their priorities aligned. Over the summer, they hosted a number of STEAM Makeathons across the United States, starting in New York City and recently wrapping up in Washington, D.C. The desktop 3D printing pioneer has also made major strides on an international level as well, opening their their first MakerBot Innovation Center in the Asia Pacific region, and also providing 50 schools in Estonia with free MakerBot 3D printers.
Although MakerBot has arguably become the premier 3D printer provider for schools in the US, the amount of 3D printers on campuses on the East Coast far outnumber those in the Midwest and on westward. In order to balance the scales a bit, MakerBot has just announced the expansion of their level of sales support and training on the West Coast. This expansion has two main facets that will bring more 3D printers into schools and businesses on the West Coast, including a new West Territory Manager and a MakerBot Demo Center at the Stratasys office in Valencia, California.
“Having a greater local presence in the nation’s most populous state will help us strengthen our relationships with resellers and customers. We’re looking forward to welcoming more of the region’s world class schools into our growing community of educators, and introducing our full set of professional solutions to the region’s designers and engineers,” said MakerBot GM Lauren Goglick.
By utilizing the solid infrastructure and resources that Stratasys holds on the left coast, MakerBot will host events for teachers, students, and businesses interested in integrating with their 3D printing technology. In a recent pilot program, MakerBot successfully distributed 18 Replicator Desktop 3D printers to universities and schools across the state of California, familiarizing them with the all-encompassing MakerBot experience. According to MakerBot, the results have been promising, and generated innovative user projects and an increase in regional sales.
The ongoing West Coast expansion has been successful due in big part to the complementary sales partnership program, which the two companies announced earlier this year. With this collaboration, MakerBot has benefited greatly from Stratasys’ long-withstanding industry experience and vast global network, and has also helped enhance their quality assurance and product development. They may not be manufacturing in the United States, but MakerBot is certainly still working to place their 3D printers in every school and business across the country. Discuss this latest plan further over in the MakerBot to Expand 3D Printing Sales & Training forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: MakerBot]