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MakerBot Closes Stores, Cuts Staff

Updated! Brooklyn, N.Y. – Desktop 3D printing pioneer MakerBot Industries has closed its three company-owned retail stores and has downsized its staff.

In a statement, the company said it had implemented the expense reductions as part of a business reorganization that will allow it to improve and expand its product offering and grow its 3D ecosystem.

The store closings, in New York, Boston and Greenwich, Conn., also reflect a shift in focus to its national retail partners, and a greater emphasis on the pro and educational markets, the vendor said.

Last November MakerBot became Staples’ exclusive in-store 3D printing partner and expanded an in-store pilot program with The Home Depot. The line is also sold through Sam’s Club, Microsoft stores, Micro Center and Adorama, and more recently the company signed distribution agreements with Wynit and D&H Distributing.

“These organizational moves are part of the continued scaling of MakerBot,” said David Reis, CEO of parent company Stratasys, a major 3D industrial printing and manufacturing resource.

Quoting an unnamed MakerBot spokeswoman, science and tech site Motherboard put the layoffs at 20 percent of the workforce, or about 100 employees. The spokeswoman said a restructuring was expected following last month’s promotion of MakerBot’s Asia general manager Jonathan Jaglom to CEO, and that the moves were designed to streamline operations and further integrate the company into its corporate parent.

Stratasys acquired Brooklyn, N.Y.-based MakerBot in a 2013 stock deal valued at about $403 million.

The announcements dovetailed with the Inside 3D Printing trade show, which ran last week in New York.