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Desktop 3D printer manufacturer Printrbot shutters operations after low sales

Printrbot founder Brook Drumm regrettably announces that the company is closing after seven years.

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Printrbot, a desktop 3D printer manufacturer that came onto the scene in 2011, has regrettably announced it is shutting its doors. The company’s website indicates that low sales were the reason for it closing down.

Printrbot brought something of a revelation to the nascent desktop 3D printer industry in 2011. The company, founded by Brook Drumm, took its first steps through a Kickstarter campaign for a low cost 3D printer that could be assembled in just a couple of hours. The Kickstarter campaign, launched in November of 2011, quickly amassed support from backers and ended up raising over $800,000.

low sales
Printrbot founder Brook Drumm

Pretty quickly, however, the market for self-assembled, low cost machines grew, which led Printrbot to move beyond its wood and plastic 3D printer frame to develop the Printrbot Simple Metal. The metal-framed machine, which became the company’s flagship product, was released in 2014 to positive reviews.

In 2017, Printrbot introduced a promising machine, the Printrbelt 3D printer, which integrated a conveyor belt print surface, enabling continuous production or the production of longer parts. Even more recently, at Maker Faire 2018, the company brought along a number of new 3D printing and CNC products.

Still, despite its early entry into the 3D printing game and its ongoing commitment to open source technology, it seems the California-based company has struggled to compete with the increasing number of low cost desktop 3D printers which have flooded the market in recent years.

“Printrbot is closed,” reads a brief statement by Drumm on the company’s shuttered website. “Low sales led to hard decisions. We will be forever grateful to all the people we met and served over the years. Thank you all.”

Drumm, who will undoubtedly pursue new and interesting projects in the future, has said he will share more about Printrbot’s final chapter “in due time.”

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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