Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), the leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, and MakerBot, the leader in desktop 3D printing, today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement whereby privately held MakerBot has agreed to merge with a subsidiary of Stratasys in a stock-for-stock transaction. MakerBot, founded in 2009, helped develop the desktop 3D printing market and has built the largest installed base of 3D printers in the category by making 3D printers highly accessible. The company has sold more than 22,000 3D printers since 2009. In the last nine months, the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer accounted for 11,000 of those sales. The combination of these two industry leaders is expected to drive faster adoption of 3D printing for multiple applications and industries, as desktop 3D printers are becoming a mainstream tool across many market segments. Upon completion of the transaction, MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, maintaining its own identity, products and go-to-market strategy. The merger enhances Stratasys’ leadership position in the rapidly growing 3D printer market, by enabling Stratasys to offer affordable desktop 3D printers together with a seamless user experience. The merger is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013; and it is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions customary for such transactions. The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem drives the accessibility and rapid adoption of their desktop 3D printers. It includes Thingiverse.com, the largest collection of downloadable digital designs for making physical objects, and which is empowered by a growing community of makers and creators. The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem also includes MakerWare software, MakerCare service, MakerBot Filament, the MakerBot Retail Store, the MakerBot 3D Photo Booth, and strategic partnerships with Autodesk, Adafruit, Nokia, OUYA, MoMA and Amazon. MakerBot recently announced it will further extend its 3D Ecosystem with the MakerBot Digitizer desktop 3D scanner.