Industry News

MakerBot Acquires 3D Print User Experience Company Layer by Layer

MakerBot, a provider of 3D printers, has acquired Layer by Layer, a software company that will now focus on creating user-friendly platforms for the MakerBot ecosystem.

Originally based in California, Layer by Layer sought to build a "complete and seamless user experience" for 3D printing, and has been, according to information released by MakerBot, "successful in bringing 3D printing technology to a level where there is little need for expertise to run a 3D printer or move files between 3D software and the printer." As part of the acquisition, Layer by Layer personnel have relocated to MakerBot's Brooklyn office.

"Since we started Layer By Layer almost two years ago, it has been our goal to push 3D printing forward by building a complete and seamless user experience ­ — from finding something you want to print, to actually printing it," said Max Friefeld, co-founder of Layer By Layer, in a letter announcing the news on the Layer by Layer site. "We have always strived to make 3D printing a more accessible technology by reducing the barrier to entry with innovations in design and computer science. So, as you probably can tell, we're incredibly excited to now be working at MakerBot, where we'll continue to innovate and explore within 3D printing."

"The goal of the acquisition of Layer By Layer is to help accelerate MakerBot's position in the entertainment and 3D printing management spaces, as part of its effort to build a more robust 3D ecosystem," according to a news release.

Layer by Layer has already stepped into its new role by deploying streaming technology, launched in October, to MakerBot's Digital Store and providing a system for digital rights management of 3D printable files. Company representatives indicated in a news release that they hope secure streaming will help convince licensed content providers to partner with the MakerBot.

"We're excited to announce the acquisition of Layer By Layer and move forward with the projects we have been working on with the Layer By Layer team. We see this as a major step forward in being able to support not only our licensed content partners with a secure digital rights management system, but other content as well," said Jenny Lawton, acting CEO of MakerBot, in a prepared statement. "The team has been working on several really interesting projects and we are excited to implement added features and benefits to the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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