Plaintiffs allege that MakerBot engaged in a fraudulent scheme designed to artificially increase the company’s share value by misrepresented and concealed operational and financial conditions of its business to investors.
The suit claims MakerBot knowingly shipped its fifth generation 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator, with a flawed extruder (the equivalent of a print head that melts and deposits filament) that’s prone to clogging up. Instead of owning up to the issue, plaintiffs allege MakerBot continued business as usual and failed to disclose to investors the true number of returns they were fielding.
In April, MakerBot shed roughly 20 percent of its workforce and closed three retail locations as part of a reorganization effort. In hindsight, the layoffs may have been a direct result of MakerBot’s alleged poor quality control.
Parent company Stratasys has seen a sharp decline in its share value over the past several months. From a high of $130.83 in September, the stock has steadily tumbled to its current closing price of $33.08.
In related news, a Change.org petition seeking a product recall has garnered 221 supporters as of writing. Its creator, a mechanical engineer by the name of Marc D, cites multiple issues he has had with his fifth generation 3D printer.
Neither MakerBot nor Stratasys has publically responded to the suit as of writing.