Earlier this week Stratasys, a longtime fixture in the commercial/industrial 3D printing world and recent purchaser of desktop printer company Makerbot,announced that it was filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Microboards Technology, LLC, the company behind the Afinia H-Series 3D printer…
This lawsuit is a big deal that could have huge ramifications for the entire desktop 3D printing industry. Afinia is a well known 3D printing brand which was named “best overall experience” inMAKE’s inaugural 3D printing buyer’s guide last year. It is also widely available from mainstream outlets such as Radio Shack.
Beyond Afinia, this lawsuit is important because it is not clear that anything in the lawsuit is Afinia specific. While it is very early in this process (more on that below), parts of Stratays’ initial complaint reads like it could be made against just about any 3D printing company, as well as 3D printing slicing software. That should make this lawsuit of interest to everyone who cares about desktop 3D printing.
Is Adafruit going to continue to sell Stratasys/MakerBot products and use their services? We do not know yet.
We’re going to get as much information as soon as possible and make a decision if were going to continue sell products / use services from Stratasys. Right now we will start to research what is posted in the MAKE article by Michael Weinberg. We will post our comments, thoughts and decisions as we get more information.
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I think we all saw this coming, sadly. 🙁 Who’s next?
MB was all love for the community, then got VC and since then they have abandoned the community. I will not support any company that has any dealing with Stratasys or Makerbot now. They are trying to kill or licence the maker movement.
This lawsuit from Stratasys is not an accident or one off. It is likely a board level approved decision and part of a business strategy to eliminate competition. Stratasys have a bunch of patents claimed this year, they clearly signal an intention to use them.
Makerbot were already on probation for me, I have no need to see how many more people they will sue before making a decision.
The time to draw a line is now.
Thank you for considering discontinuing selling the Stratasys products. While I’m still trying to wait to see how things pan out, after giving it a day to soak in, my gut feeling is that MakerBot as I knew it when I bought my Replicator 1, just simply put no longer exists.
While I’m going to try to be patient and sensible before deciding whether or not to cease use of Thingiverse. Considering that in capitalism people vote with their money, I would need to also need to think about whether to support stores that are helping Stratasys continue to gain share in the hobbyist market.
I’m sorry to see Adafruit in any position of conflict, and I honestly hope that however things work out in the months to come I can continue to recommend Adafruit to friends and coworkers as a source of excellence in this world. In any case, I will try to be patient and wait to see what happens with situation as a whole instead of acting prematurely on ideological grounds.