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Stratasys is acquiring MakerBot, the New York-based 3D printing company.  There have been rumors of a MakerBot acquisition for a few weeks now, but it’s finally happening. The deal is an all stock deal worth $403 million based on the current share value of Stratasys.  The idea behind the merger is that both companies working together can be the leader in both the 3D industrial printing and manufacturing and in desktop 3D printing.

Both companies hope that the merger should also help drive “faster adoption of 3D printing” across all categories.

MakerBot will continue to operate as a separate company from Stratasys as part of the deal, meaning it will be a subsidiary of Stratasys that focuses on the consumer and desktop market segment while Stratasys continues to focus on its existing industrial 3D printing business.

MakerBot was founded in 2009 and helped develop the desktop 3D printing market.  Since its launch, the company has sold more than 22,000 3D printers and in the last nine months, the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer accounted for 11,000 of those sales.

Stratasys is clearly on the offensive here, it wants to dominate the 3D printing space, and the MakerBot acquisition is the consumer-focused piece to help complete the puzzle. For MakerBot, it gives the startup access to Stratasys’ wealth of industry experience, and also offers the company better access to latest tech, plus a vast amount of engineering talent and resources to drive marketing and distribution.

We already told you that 3D printing was hot, now it’s on fire.

MakerBot is hosting a press event tomorrow at 10AM EST, which you can watch live on their site.

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