MakerBot is an American New York City-based company founded in January 2009 by Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer and Zach "Hoeken" Smith to engineer and produce 3D printers. MakerBot builds on the early progress of the RepRap Project. As of April 2015, following a layoff of around 20% of its staff, MakerBot has about 400 employees. Smith was one of the founding members of the RepRap Research Foundation, a non-profit group created to help advance early research in the area of open-source 3D printers. Bre Pettis got inspired during an art residency in Vienna with Johannes Grenzfurthner/monochrom in 2007, when he wanted to create a robot that could print shot glasses for the event Roboexotica and did research about the RepRap project at the Vienna hackerspace Metalab. Shot glasses remained a theme throughout the history of MakerBot. The company started shipping kits in April 2009 and had sold approximately 3,500 units as of March 2011. Demand for the kits was so great in 2009 that the company solicited MakerBot owners to provide parts for future devices from their own MakerBots. Seed funding of $75,000 was provided by Jake Lodwick ($50,000) and Adrian Bowyer and his wife, Christine ($25,000).