Just a couple of weeks after getting back from a summit in Loveland, Colorado, where we were introduced to the exciting new LulzBot Bio printer, we were shocked to hear that Aleph Objects, the company responsible for the LulzBot line of 3D printers is in serious trouble, having just laid off 80% of their staff a week later.
In an email statement released last Friday, the company confirmed it had laid off staff but will be continuing to support existing warranties and machine sales. Their statement reads:
Aleph Objects Inc. has reduced its staff as of today. Please be assured we will continue to manufacture and sell the LulzBot Mini 2, Workhorse and Pro series of printers and will continue to service the equipment as we are negotiating new ownership opportunities. All warranties will continue to be honored and the standard one year warranty will be included with all new printer purchases.
At 3D Universe, we have always prided ourselves on being completely honest with our customers, so we thought it would be best to just share what we know openly.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much, beyond what has already been shared in the media. Apparently, LulzBot (Aleph Objects) has run into some serious cash flow problems and is seeking buyers to take over operations. If that doesn’t happen very soon, they could end up going out of business.
This is a huge disappointment to us, as it is for many other LulzBot fans out there. LulzBot was built on open-source hardware and software, which we want to see more of. We want to see companies like this succeed so that other companies will embrace an open-source approach also, encouraging further innovation. This is the whole basis of the e-NABLE volunteer community, making open-source 3D printed prosthetic devices for underserved communities around the world. 3D Universe has always been a huge supporter of e-NABLE because we want to encourage that kind of open sharing and innovation. So it’s very unfortunate to see a company that was built on open-source principles to be struggling (and possibly failing).
The people we have worked with at LulzBot are truly wonderful folks, and we’d like to believe that they knew nothing about this when we were invited to Loveland for the LulzBot Bio summit. But someone in upper management certainly knew this was coming.
It seems likely that they may have invited their resellers to this summit in the hopes that we would help to build some media hype about their latest product launch to drum up interest in the company for potential buyers. If this is the case, we are very disappointed that resellers like ourselves, who have supported the company all of these years, were allowed to invest our time and funds to attend this multiple-day summit.
Until we know for sure what’s happening with them, we have put a hold on taking any new orders for LulzBot products. As always, we will do our very best to continue providing support for any of our customers who purchased LulzBot printers.
Update as of 10/18/2019:
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.