We are witnessing a shift towards more desktop 3D printing, at least from Jonathan Jaglom’s perspective.
“What we see is a transition from the higher end to the desktop 3D printing space,” he said. “The paradigm of 3D printing is shifting from the professional platform to the personal platform.”
The newly minted CEO of Brooklyn-based MarkerBot Industries, which incidentally makes desktop 3D printers, spoke at last week’s Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York (see slideshow).
I caught up with Jaglom briefly to get some idea of what he has planned for MakerBot. Word came in February that Jenny Lawton, who had been CEO since last fall, was moving on to become executive vice president of special projects at parent company Stratasys.
Jaglom is new to the New York tech scene, but he has some 10 years of experience in 3D printing, first with Objet (which merged with Stratasys in 2011) and then Stratasys itself before his move to MakerBot. Most recently, he was general manager of Stratasys Asia Pacific in Japan, which he said accounted for some 20 percent of the company’s business in 2014.
There have been some questions raised about MakerBot since it got acquired in 2013. Lawton took over last September as CEO after co-founder Bre Pettis shifted over to head up Bold Machines, a workshop at Stratasys.
Earlier this year, Stratasys took a write-down on MakerBot, which preceded Lawtown changing hats again.
Jaglom would not share much about the current in-house plans being cooked up at MakerBot, but he said he wants to leverage Stratasys’s regional infrastructure more. For example, across Asia the parent company has 12 offices and works with some 40 partners, he said. “MakerBot, in terms of local presence in Asia, is far from being there today,” Jaglom said. “There’s a lot of opportunity.”
During his keynote speech at the conference, Jaglom said MakerBot holds a significant share of the market, with some 80,000 of its 3D printers installed around the world. But he also said there is more to expect from the company. “MakerBot is not just a hardware company, far from it,” he said.
Jaglom talked up the software available for the printer, and the community of independent creators who offer their designs on MakerBot’s Web portal, Thingiverse, for others to print up at home. “We have 700,000 downloadable files on Thingiverse,” he said, which averages one million downloads per week.
But there was a bump in the road he did acknowledge. “Sometimes we don’t get it 100 percent right,” Jaglom said. MakerBot’s digital store, which is different from Thingiverse, is where people can download content from companies, such as official designs for figures from Sesame Street or branded accessories from Hello Kitty, for a price. The digital store, though, has not seen as much traction as MakerBot would have liked, Jaglom acknowledged. However, he said the business model makes sense in the e-commerce world. “This will be important for MakerBot in the future to come, it just happens to not be the right moment,” he said.