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A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker

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A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
March 31, 2014 07:16PM
A promise is a promise - Ultimaker

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Always nice when companies stick to their word, and this past weekend Ultimaker has done just that. When the pro open-source company released the Ultimaker 2 3D printer six months ago, they promised to promote the culture saying that the source files would follow within months — they are now available via github.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 06:51AM
Oh. Is it something to praise now if sources are kept confidential for 6 months?


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 08:00AM
Since they are one of the company's that gets copied the most from chinees company's, i think it's more than understandable they wait for 6 months to release the files.
I'm very happy that they stay true to open source, and don't go the fakerbot way.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 09:03AM
This is what I get when I don't keep up with RepRap. Man, the Ultimaker2 looks great! This is the machine I would love to get my office to buy...

Thanks for pointing out that they shared the plans on github. I know what i'm doing to be reading/reviewing tonight. Off hand I wonder how much it would cost in parts to build one of these at home? I've got a few spare things I could use to start me off. ..or I wonder if this would be a good upgrade to my existing Mendel90.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 10:28AM
Why are they using a proprietary 2.85 mm filament?

Ok, it might not be proprietary, but it is a none standard size...


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 10:37AM
I think they just mean 3mm filament. I know the stuff I buy tends to have a real measurement of 2.85 to 2.9mm.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 12:47PM
Yeah it takes any 3mm filament. It's just that 2.85 is a common diameter, e.g. Faberdashery filament is also 2.85mm. I have used many other diameters in my Ultimaker2.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 03:10PM
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gmh39
Why are they using a proprietary 2.85 mm filament?

Ok, it might not be proprietary, but it is a none standard size...
2.85mm is a standard size. It's just called 3mm usually. Filament that is actually 3.0mm diameter is uncommon.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 01, 2014 03:24PM
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NewPerfection
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gmh39
Why are they using a proprietary 2.85 mm filament?

Ok, it might not be proprietary, but it is a none standard size...
2.85mm is a standard size. It's just called 3mm usually. Filament that is actually 3.0mm diameter is uncommon.

Hmmm. Didn't know that. I've never actually used 3mm filament, although I have a huge box of it...


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 02, 2014 09:14AM
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possenier
it's more than understandable they wait for 6 months to release the files.
I'm very happy that they stay true to open source, and don't go the fakerbot way.

The Open Hardware movement gets more and more ridiculous. Now even keeping desings secret is claimed to be "true open source".

What next? Cheering for patented designs? With a patent you have the design published immediately, after all.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 02, 2014 11:10AM
translation of "immediate"

hiding in a cave for 3 years waiting for your patent to be granted. smiling bouncing smiley
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 03, 2014 06:01PM
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Traumflug
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possenier
it's more than understandable they wait for 6 months to release the files.
I'm very happy that they stay true to open source, and don't go the fakerbot way.

The Open Hardware movement gets more and more ridiculous. Now even keeping desings secret is claimed to be "true open source".

What next? Cheering for patented designs? With a patent you have the design published immediately, after all.

What do you believe is a reasonable time frame for non-derivative files to be released?
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 02:18AM
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possenier
Since they are one of the company's that gets copied the most from chinees company's, i think it's more than understandable they wait for 6 months to release the files.

I agree. TaoBao has dozens of brands making dirt cheap, metal, Ultimaker clones and they have far, far shorter lead time and lower costs than anything Ultimaker can hope to have. They are also applying for local (Chinese) patents on those designs in order to stop other Chinese companies from copying their copies. The new source files are all over the 3D printing QQ groups here already and it will take less then two months for Ultimaker 2 clones to start coming off Chinese assembly lines.

Open Source purism has to take some economic realities into account. There needs to be some reasonable middle-ground between publishing the source files as soon as you have them, then having your product beaten to market by cut rate copies, and going the closed source route. A six month lead is reasonable, more than that would not be.
A2
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 03:20AM
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Timaz
They are also applying for local (Chinese) patents on those designs in order to stop other Chinese companies from copying their copies.

Who is "they", and got a link.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 06:00AM
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A2
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Timaz
They are also applying for local (Chinese) patents on those designs in order to stop other Chinese companies from copying their copies.

Who is "they", and got a link.

There are a lot of Chinese 3D patents being filed, many are based on existing overseas technology:
[www.zhizaoye.net]

Creatbot is an Ultimaker clone that claims (but does not list the number of) five Chinese patents:
"5. 多项专利:不堵头喷头设计;自主研发主板,可连续工作200小时;温床加热技术,打印产品不变形、不翘边。"
[detail.1688.com]
"具有完全自主知识产权" (With completely independent intellectual property rights.)

[item.taobao.com]
This part "郑重声明:尹文特(inventorbot)3D打印机系抄袭我司产品" is them complaining about the guy who is copying their copy. "No fair- we copied it first" is a daily argument in the 3D printer QQ groups.

QUBEA basically patented delta printers in China (and also claims their design was entirely independent):
[item.taobao.com]

TMTCTW has always claimed to be independently designed (despite being an obvious Ultimaker clone) and their boss is always going on about his patents (real or imagined).
[item.taobao.com]

It's a pretty common topic here, just because they copy does not mean they don't fight tooth and nail to keep from being copied- that means patents.

Here’s a decent overview on the subject and why it's a problem:
[www.chinalawblog.com]
[www.chinalawblog.com]
[www.chinalawblog.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2014 06:16AM by Timaz.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 06:26AM
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billyzelsnack
What do you believe is a reasonable time frame for non-derivative files to be released?

Zero seconds, of course. Bad enough designs are published only after going into production.

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Timaz
A six month lead is reasonable, more than that would not be.

Two years ago we had uproars because some company didn't publish before going to production. Last year we had discussions because it took a day or two after stuff became available at the shop. This year, six months shall be fine. Next year?

Anyways, I'm not really suprised. For businesses, this "open source" tag was always and still is a pure marketing tag. Not a single one which really wants others to collect the earnings of their own work. Now even users start to complain about copies being made, totally ignoring that making copies is one of the (claimed) core idea of "true open source". What we see with this six months delay now is simply the next step into keeping up the "open source" myth for those sheep customers plunking down the money (instead of crafting something on their own).

Keeping parts secret or tagging them with a non-commercial licence is at least honest. For me clearly better than myth riders. And leads to better quality anyways.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 11:08AM
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Traumflug
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billyzelsnack
What do you believe is a reasonable time frame for non-derivative files to be released?

Zero seconds, of course. Bad enough designs are published only after going into production.

What is your argument that you believe entitles you to immediate access of non-derivative source files?
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 11:34AM
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billyzelsnack
What is your argument that you believe entitles you to immediate access of non-derivative source files?
The argument is not that the public is entitled to the files. (The files belong to the developer and the developer can do with them what they like.)

The argument is that if the developer calls their work "open source" then they have an obligation to release their source files in a timely manner.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 04, 2014 12:23PM
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Traumflug
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billyzelsnack
What do you believe is a reasonable time frame for non-derivative files to be released?

Zero seconds, of course. Bad enough designs are published only after going into production.

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Timaz
A six month lead is reasonable, more than that would not be.

Two years ago we had uproars because some company didn't publish before going to production. Last year we had discussions because it took a day or two after stuff became available at the shop. This year, six months shall be fine. Next year?

Anyways, I'm not really suprised. For businesses, this "open source" tag was always and still is a pure marketing tag. Not a single one which really wants others to collect the earnings of their own work. Now even users start to complain about copies being made, totally ignoring that making copies is one of the (claimed) core idea of "true open source". What we see with this six months delay now is simply the next step into keeping up the "open source" myth for those sheep customers plunking down the money (instead of crafting something on their own).

Keeping parts secret or tagging them with a non-commercial licence is at least honest. For me clearly better than myth riders. And leads to better quality anyways.

Zero seconds is only reasonable if you expect the source to be pretty much useless. Releasing proper information for open source hardware takes time and effort. It's not the same as someone releasing some half baked, undocumented code and calling it "open source" because it kinda works. A situation that has perpetuated the belief that if I release it for free it doesn't have to be of very good quality.

I'm sorry but open source is not pure marketing, I can go to many businesses, both software and hardware, and get the source files for their product.

I don't think six months is an unreasonable time. I would say that six months or less is a great rule of thumb for open source 3D printers.

Personally I like what Pass Labs does with their amplifiers. Mr. Pass give all the information you need to build his amps and explains why he chose certain design elements, after he stops selling that model. I don't expect that to work for printers but it is a great way of combating low cost knockoffs.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 05, 2014 01:32AM
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All files are released according to the following license unless specified differently in the file or directory:
CC-by-NC: [creativecommons.org]

[github.com]

It also isn't even under an Open Source license. A -NC license isn't open source, per Open Source Institute, Open Source Hardware Association, et. al.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 05, 2014 01:38AM
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Traumflug
For businesses, this "open source" tag was always and still is a pure marketing tag.

LulzBot has always done things open, and continues to do so. I believe we even push it further than most have before... We release our files while they are under development. Our shared internal development directory syncs to the public every hour. Just sayin'.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 05, 2014 05:47AM
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jzatopa
Zero seconds is only reasonable if you expect the source to be pretty much useless. Releasing proper information for open source hardware takes time and effort.

Releasable documentation is ready long before a product hits the market. The "effort" to publish is hitting the upload button.

At least it should be this way. If there's a need to "prepare" designs, users get something different from what was used to craft the products.

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jebba
LulzBot has always done things open, and continues to do so.

That's nice and doesn't contradict my opinion at all. The question is, why do you do things open? Very likely not to give the copiers a headstart over your own production. Instead I think you do it to be attractive in a market where the "open source" tag counts very much. As such, it's a marketing move.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 05, 2014 08:55AM
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jebba
Our shared internal development directory syncs to the public every hour. Just sayin'.

An hour delay?!?!? Get the pitchforks and torches out to arm the angry mob!!!!! winking smiley
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 05, 2014 05:12PM
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Traumflug
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jebba
LulzBot has always done things open, and continues to do so.

That's nice and doesn't contradict my opinion at all. The question is, why do you do things open? Very likely not to give the copiers a headstart over your own production. Instead I think you do it to be attractive in a market where the "open source" tag counts very much. As such, it's a marketing move.

No, we don't do it for marketing. It is the process. Do you think Red Hat supports Linux just for marketing? Just for an ad? No, it is part of the development process. Personally, I'm not into marketing at all, but we have to do it of course. My main goal is to promote free and open technologies (which long predates my involvement in RepRap). Promoting and contributing to free software and open source hardware is the reason Aleph Objects, Inc. exists.

-Jeff

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2014 05:16PM by jebba.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 05, 2014 07:05PM
It's a no win situation- complaints that Ultimaker does not instantly release the source files, and cycism when Lulzbot goes way above and beyond what any reasonable person would expect with it's releases.

That being said I’ve only seen a couple of Lulzbot clones here in China, it’s not at all a popular design for reasons I cannot fathom. Not that I would encourage them of course, but still.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 06, 2014 06:28AM
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jebba
Do you think Red Hat supports Linux just for marketing? Just for an ad? No, it is part of the development process.

Agreed, and software is an entirely different matter, because with software, you can't make money by just copying it. Accordingly, software is no target for cheapo copiers.

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jebba
Promoting and contributing to free software and open source hardware is the reason Aleph Objects, Inc. exists.

Sounds good! What's your plan when "the chinese" come around and sell your desings at half the price, taking most of your customers away? Do you say "thank you, goal achieved" and "let us go more into design, so they can make even more copies"?

@Timaz, there is no cynism. There's just a search for honesty and an open source model which actually works. So far I can't see one which works longer than a couple of years. All successful models include hiding designs to some extent.

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jebba
A -NC license isn't open source

This is something I consider to be cynism, at least in this context. It means hiding designs is prefered over publishing them.


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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 06, 2014 07:23AM
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jebba
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All files are released according to the following license unless specified differently in the file or directory:
CC-by-NC: [creativecommons.org]

[github.com]

It also isn't even under an Open Source license. A -NC license isn't open source, per Open Source Institute, Open Source Hardware Association, et. al.



I'm not sure i get this argument, to me if you have a project and the source is open and available to anyone who wants it then it's opensource if the source to the project is unavailable then it can't be called opensource , to me this has always been a pretty simple argument ,

the commercial aspects of the project are meaningless and out of scope , or to put it simply nothing to do with the price of rice in china

open is open, closed is closed, we should all be thankful developers even bother putting anything up at all...


... and que our favourite troll (ohioplastics)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2014 07:24AM by thejollygrimreaper.




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Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 06, 2014 12:09PM
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thejollygrimreaper
I'm not sure i get this argument, to me if you have a project and the source is open and available to anyone who wants it then it's opensource if the source to the project is unavailable then it can't be called opensource , to me this has always been a pretty simple argument

Actually, it is a pretty simple argument and has been solved in the software communities 10+ years ago. Doing -NC is not "open source". Just check the open source definition by the people that originally coined "open source": [opensource.org]

Another way to look at it would be, try to upload some -NC files and get them into Debian or Fedora. They would never accept them, because they aren't open source.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 06, 2014 12:16PM
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Traumflug
Sounds good! What's your plan when "the chinese" come around and sell your desings at half the price, taking most of your customers away? Do you say "thank you, goal achieved" and "let us go more into design, so they can make even more copies"?

Yes, something like that. Look at all the Buda clones out there. It has been cloned in the USA, Argentina, Spain, China, etc. The E3D hotend was derived from it, and he's selling lots of them. We have good relations with E3D, for instance. When the Spain cloners came out with their hot end, we congratulated them on the quality of their drawings--they did a great job.

Look at something like Ultimachine. They are 100% open, and there are clones out there. We've spent over $100,000 USD with Ultimachine alone--and we're just one customer! How much did you get for your -NC board? It seems Johnnyr is doing much better with his 100% open board than you are with your closed one. I never hear of anyone using your Gen7, but RAMPS and RAMBo are everywhere.

Also note, not only do we share the design info, we share manufacturing instructions! [ohai-kit.alephobjects.com] [devel.alephobjects.com]

That said, we still need sales. So if people want to support an open hardware company doing R&D and releasing docs, it would be great if they bought from us.

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Traumflug
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jebba
A -NC license isn't open source

This is something I consider to be cynism, at least in this context. It means hiding designs is prefered over publishing them.

Did I say that? I just said NC isn't open source, which is 100% true.

-Jeff

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2014 12:17PM by jebba.
Re: A Promise is a Promise — Ultimaker
April 06, 2014 01:56PM
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jebba
Look at all the Buda clones out there.
For full disclosure you should mention that the original Buda was a clone of the Arcol. In fact, the whole reason the Buda came into being was because people were upset about the license Arcol was under. The plot thickens! smiling smiley Link here for the curious. Usually we complain about people taking open source stuff and closing it off. The Buda is an interesting case of things going the other way around. It also illustrates the futility of trying to use a creative commons "copyright-style" license to protect a functional design.

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thejollygrimreaper
the commercial aspects of the project are meaningless and out of scope
I know this is a point of contention because we argue about it endlessly every time one of these threads come up. But the Open Source Hardware Association's Definition specifically mentions the commercial aspect:

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OSHWA's definition of Open Source Hardware
Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design.

In trying times such as these, times when one of these stupid threads gets revved up again and all things technical are forgotten, I am always reminded of the wise words of Don Lancaster from his 1998 essay "The Case Against Patents". Here are some relevant excerpts:

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Don Lancaster
Fact – You WILL get ripped off. The odds are very much stacked against the Midnight Engineer startup from day one. If you are a creative type that designs things, the chances are you got that way in the first place through ignoring people and legal details. So, you will have your ideas stolen. You will be lied to. You will be misled. Fer sure. The trick here is to recognize the inevitability of this ripoff process and not get too upset when it happens. Ripoffs come with the territory. So, factor them in ahead of time and it won’t be nearly as rude a surprise when it surely happens to you... You normally have one and only one defense against getting ripped off... The expectation that you will be delivering newer and better stuff in the future.
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