When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 05, 2012 01:17PM
When will makerbot release all of the build files for the Replicator? They did post some information here [www.makerbot.com] I would not consider this open source on the hardware side. Will they release the injection molded parts as well?
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 05, 2012 02:29PM
I think that Makerbot is a tad bit disingenuous about opensource hardware and it's more a marketing bullet point rather than community contribution, but if they do release source files it does technically qualify. Regardless of their direct contribution I do think they are making an even greater contribution by spreading the word.

As for injected molded files.. They did release the injected molded files for the MK7 so I assume they'll release the Replicator bits too.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 05, 2012 03:59PM
billyzelsnack Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think that Makerbot is a tad bit disingenuous
> about opensource hardware and it's more a
> marketing bullet point rather than community
> contribution, but if they do release source files
> it does technically qualify. Regardless of their
> direct contribution I do think they are making an
> even greater contribution by spreading the word.

If there is no source available, then it is not open source. If source isn't available until day X, then it isn't open source until day X. IMHO, they shouldn't say it unless it's true.

Their particular definition of open source is getting spread, though. Mendel-Parts' "open source" Orca is just one of them. There are lots of printer kits these days with poor or no documentation, secret BOMs and such that have clearly benefited from the contributions of true open-source projects.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 05, 2012 04:35PM
In that link above Makerbot have the electronics schematics and lasercut files. Is that not enough of a contribution? Do we not count Makerbot's past contributions? Do we not count the positive exposure Makerbot generates? Do we not count Makerbot's software contributions? Does Makerbot owe reprap indefinitely no matter their contributions?

Where is the line and does the line's location depend on the size of the company?

(Please don't read any negative tone into what I wrote above. These are questions that I am dealing with myself as someone that intends to sell a printer and I am genuinely interested in the discussion.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2012 04:40PM by billyzelsnack.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 05, 2012 05:31PM
They've said from the beginning that everything will be released when the Replicator ships.

It hasn't shipped yet but is due to any day now.

Seems pretty straightforward to me.


[johnbiehler.com]
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 06, 2012 11:16AM
One thing I would like to see addressed in the OSHW definition (1.1 is in draft) is a fleshing out of what documentation actually means. It should be complete. And the text at the top of that link that says "When we say open source, we mean open source." but isn't complete is just kind of a joke. And I think they're obligated to give back only as long as they rely on the stuff they build upon is open. ReplicatorG still wraps around Skeinforge and the board looks like it descends from Arduino. I'm sure Netfab would be thrilled to enter a closed license agreement with Makerbot, and it would be a simple matter to clean-room a duplicate of the Arduino libraries used so they can strip that reference. These are all doable, and they wouldn't be the first to do such a thing.

I would say it's fully open when you have enough information to build a copy (or components of the copy), same as with software. If there are external dependencies, then they should be open, too, so one could build a copy of that. So, that, like for open software, if you need to fix something, you can get in and do it. If it will be open when it ships, then it's open when it ships. But until then it's not. Really.

So, for example, while schematics are neat, they don't help you if you need to build a replacement that fits into the machine the way the original does. A minor detail? Sure, but one can layout a circuit in a lot of different ways with many side effects.

I'm sure eventually the full documentation will come out. But if they've been building them for 8 weeks, then clearly the full documentation already exists. The hesitation is clearly a business decision so it's their business, but it shows they aren't really confident the OSHW model can be successful. Andrew Huang (Bunnie) has given many presentations and well thought out arguments on the whole thing.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 06, 2012 11:32AM
What should the 99% of current and future "opensource" projects be called because they certainly do not and will not have "complete" documentation. Isn't one of the features of opensource that the original authors don't have to do all the work? If someone wants to step up and create complete documentation then great, if not then great too.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 06, 2012 11:48AM
i want the .dxf's just so i can build one out of something other than wood. why they chose wood over aluminum is beyond me... if it were AL or anything else i'd have just ordered one. i hate the idea of using a material that expands with humidity to build a precision machine.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 06, 2012 01:08PM
billyzelsnack Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What should the 99% of current and future
> "opensource" projects be called because they
> certainly do not and will not have "complete"
> documentation. Isn't one of the features of
> opensource that the original authors don't have to
> do all the work? If someone wants to step up and
> create complete documentation then great, if not
> then great too.

The equivalent in software would be:
* here are some binaries you can execute that may or may not be different from what I actually sell you (maybe, if they don't work, too bad)
* here are a few source files (missing some key objects, but you could always write them, so, too bad)
* there are more source files (because I provided binaries, I must have them), but you can't have them (too bad)

Could one really argue that, because decompilers exist, anyone can produce full source, therefore those that already have it don't have to distribute it? I'd call that simply non-free or proprietary. Which isn't a value judgment of whether it's a good system or engineered properly or anything of the sort, it's just the facts. But, if you're non-free, don't masquerade as free. That's an insult -- not to mention muddying the waters -- to that which is actually free. If the goal is to eventually be free, that's fantastic, but don't make it into a marketing bullet point.

For hardware, you're not even going to get the thing to reverse engineer for free, unlike free (as in beer) software, so, the community isn't even helped to help itself.

Maybe a better term would be "open development"? Particularly if nothing is being sold yet?
* I'm working on an idea
* Here are the sources I'm working off of so far
* I have an iteration of this source completed, a prototype, but it's not ready for primetime
- OR -
* I have an iteration of this source completed, a prototype, you can buy it, but, look, it's not really complete

The nice part about this model is someone can help you, or fork and help themselves, and both help everyone as long as it's all open.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 06, 2012 03:32PM
I'd take a look at what they actually contribute before accusing them of taking without giving back. Look at their github:
[github.com]

You make note that ReplicatorG wraps skeinforge? Well there's the ReplicatorG source with full history. As for DXFs for the thingomatic: [www.thingiverse.com]

And no they haven't released the replicator source, they're not done with it. The GPL specifies that if you distribute a derivative of open source, you have to distribute its source. They aren't shipping so they haven't distributed anything yet. Its pretty standard practice for companies doing for profit open source work to hold back until ship time, if anything so your competitors can't go out and sell your own product before you're done with it. But at least so far makerbot has come through with source code and files for everything they've sold. They more consistent than many companies that are considered champions of open source.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 07, 2012 11:55AM
I'm not saying they have not or will not give back anything. The github speaks for itself, and no one really has a reason to doubt eventually the Replicator will be laid fully bare like the Thingomatic.

But I'm talking about this very moment. Is it pedantry and semantics that one should call it open source once it's open? Maybe, but I'd rather it mean something than turn into the next buzz word like "the cloud". Would you disagree that "open source" and "will soon be open source" represent different things?

The marketing blitz is really quite good and capturing people who, never been exposed before, might think open source is a skin condition. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out It would have been really good if the opportunity was taken to show what open source is, instead of a few png files. I mean, if you didn't know that github was the go-to place for their sources, how would you know? ToM dropped off the store page, but that too would be a great resource to have out there. "Hey, we're not selling these anymore and it's considered depreciated but if you really want it, check out this link."
Ok so I think this blog post pretty much sums up the problem.
[www.makerbot.com]

Bre Petis himself, blasts Techzone for not publishing the board files for a derivative of gen3 electronics. He goes as far as saying they should have posted the files before they shipped the product.

There are a number of license violations with the current documentation of Replicator, one of them being the picture of a schematic is not enough (words from Bre's mouth). Also, I'm sure Arduino isn't happy either.

I'm just saying that it's really contradictory to bast someone else, and then do the exact same thing if not worse and not expect to get called out on it.
I forgot to add, they announced they are shipping and people commented they received bots already. So yes, they are obligated to release the source which would take all of 5 minutes as a Thing on Thingiverse. They expect us to do it (thing a day).
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 09, 2012 01:01PM
Thanks for posting that link Jetguy. The discussion in its comments is quite interesting.
Re: When Will Makerbot Release the Replicator files?
March 12, 2012 03:16PM
All the Replicator files have been released: [www.thingiverse.com]


--
Tony Buser http://tonybuser.com * http://reprap.org/wiki/User:Tbuser#Projects
There is still no extruder files out there. The most important part of the Replicator is MK8 extruder.
Makerbot is not opensource!!!!
This discussion really gets me thinking. Clearly, for any printed parts in a design, we can say that the .stl or other definition files must be available to be "Open Source". Once we get beyond that, translating from the Software world where this term came about, into hardware, is interesting. What is "source"?

In code, its very simple, a compiler takes in code, spits out a binary for the system its on. Its entirely concievable for someone to build a physical object, using little more than a rough outline sketch as "source". Would that qualify?

I definitely think I like "Open Design", since it really is about design, not about input to a fairly deterministic process of compilation and execution.

That said, I would bring in a concept from the "Free Software" world, where opensource spawned, and say that some of this "open" talk is actually an expansion of the original ideas, (though possibly not unwarrented)

In the original sense, software freedom meant the ability to see what your computer is being instructed to do and to modify those instructions, and share them. Basically, recognizing that software is a "recipe" (a set of instructions), and treating it as such.

So, in fact, software is considered "Free software" even if source is not publically available... as long as it is available to anyone who it is distributed to. By that standard, its still Open IF the entire "source" or "design" is available to customers who recieve the product, and if those customers are then not prohibited from making modifications and redistributing. (including to the public, for free).

I realise this is splitting hairs, but it is an interesting distinction to think about, and does seem to make some amount of sense. In the end, its easy to see that anything the least bit popular is going to be publically available for free, either in original form or improved by others. However, it also allows the original manafacturer at least a small window to get a head start on selling a few....which seems to me like an acceptable trade off.
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