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Saving the RepRap Project

Posted by andychang28 
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 07:52PM
So here's an idea for the RepRap community: why not make a platform for hardware developers like Brian where they could sell their designs? Like Amazon, but for makers (and without all that amazon crap).

Think of it as of farmer's market for hardware designs.

Someone sits in his garage right now with thousands bucks of precise tools inventing something new and cool. And he thinks "nope, bot gonna sell it because CHINA". And he alone will not be able to make a decent website, do all the logistics and other stuff. He's a machinist, he can turn metal to tolerance, not maintain a linux-based webserver (kudos to those who can do both lol)!
Such platform would connect makers in their garages and people that don't mind paying more than $10 for a good thingy, sometimes even with getting personal with the author.
Exactly like farmer's market, see?
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 08:41PM
Wow, there's some seriously negative posts in this thread. I guess I must have missed the golden years when everything was new and exciting, but to me this forum seems to be thriving. It's full of people willing to lend their help and advice, and share their enthusiasm for the subject. And there seems to be a fair amount of thought provoking, pushing the boundaries stuff too. I hope, and fully expect, that it will stay that way for years to come.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:02PM
Quote
toxuin
Such platform would connect makers in their garages and people that don't mind paying more than $10 for a good thingy, sometimes even with getting personal with the author.
How would this be different from ebay?

We tried to make a platform here in the RepRap forums/wiki that would help to fund open source developers, and help provide incentive for them to share their work: Bounties. As you can see from the activity in that forum, almost no one is interested in using it.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:04PM
Quote
toxuin
So here's an idea for the RepRap community: why not make a platform for hardware developers like Brian where they could sell their designs? Like Amazon, but for makers (and without all that amazon crap).

Exists already: [www.emakershop.com]


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:09PM
-

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2016 10:10PM by rmlrn.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:09PM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
Srek
Imo developing open hardware in the context of RepRap has no viable commercial base, thus i only do it as a hobby and explicitly don't see it as a potential side job.

Ah, OK, so you work actively on RepRap businesses going south by taking the value of engineering work away. Not sure if your employer would still pay you if you'd start to the same in his business field.

Anyways, such behaviour is one of the reasons why "Saving the RepRap project" (topic) can't work. Cheapo-chinese taking the value of manufacturing away, hobbyists taking the value of engnieering away, both together leaving a lot of frustration behind because nobody takes on the unpleasant parts (documentation, making something reliable, making it idiot-proof, such stuff).

Seriously? I wanted to exit this thread, but you wannabe business people are so ridiculous. Now you're trying to demonize people working on this as a hobby?

How do you think this all started? Who do you think your potential customers are?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2016 10:14PM by rmlrn.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:23PM
Quote
rmlrn
Now you're trying to demonize people working on this as a hobby?

Not demonize. Just one of many indications.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:24PM
Hello,

Many people reading my original post seem to be under the misconception that I am against any bonding between marketing and technology.

If it was not clear enough in the OP, I support businesses in technology to a certain extent. I entirely understand that marketing is technology's "bridge to the people", and that new technologies would never take off without businesses.

However, I stop supporting businesses when their position in the market poses a threat to the continued development of the technology. I used Makerbot as an example simply because it is the best specimen of a business threatening 3D Printing right now, as evidenced in the OP.

Businesses should absolutely distribute technology to users and collect a profit while doing it, but they must not get in the way of science in the process.

Best Wishes, Andy

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2016 10:26PM by andychang28.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 10:41PM
Hello,

Thank you Traumflug for taking an opposing stance. I take no offense from you actions; rather, I feel like having an opponent adds spice to the situation.

Let's get on to your first post, which included refutes to many of my original points.


- "Not more than hammers and screwdrivers are used to make prosthetics."

Sure, hammers and screwdrivers are used for prosthetics, but can you make artificial organs with these sorts of methods?


- "This revolution happened in 1985 already, when 3D Systems made their SLA-1 available. Dropping prices were just a matter of time. RepRap certainly accelerated this drop, but it had happened sooner or later anyways."

Yes, 3D Printing has been around for awhile. However, it's still a revolution to consumers today, and the current situation is what matters most.


- "Uhm, excuse me? All I see here is marketing and support for customers of companies which refuse to help. Innovative people have left already and reappear only occasionally for discussions like this one."

This is exactly why I opened this post. RepRap was once home to huge numbers of developers, and I want whatever community's left to stop innovators from leaving; otherwise, development in 3D Printing will slow.


- "Makerbot is certainly one of the smaller problems, if a problem at all. They do their own development, even their taking from the Open Hardware community was developed by Makebot founders before. They found their market niche and play rather fair. So, please stop seeing this company as an evil, there's a lot more doom out there."

First, I was just pointing to Makerbot as an example, since it's the best example out there now. Second, Makerbot/Stratasys most definitely is a threat to 3D Printing technology; they are currently the best example of a company which aims to monopolize 3D Printing and funnel decades of development into the hands of a single party. Worse, they have shown that they're willing to do this at any cost to the community, which develops much of the technology that they themselves use.


- "Only marketing sells and only sales make something worth to expanded beyond the hobby level."

Responded to in previous post


*Clearly, I'm not very proficient with the quote function. It would be much appreciated if someone could give me a quick tutorial.

Best Wishes, Andy

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2016 10:43PM by andychang28.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 11:27PM
Quote
andychang28
Clearly, I'm not very proficient with the quote function. It would be much appreciated if someone could give me a quick tutorial.

When responding, don't click "Reply", but "Quote" at the bottom of the post you're responding to. Then remove the parts you're not responding to. And there's a "Preview" button ...


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 11:36PM
Quote
andychang28

Businesses should absolutely distribute technology to users and collect a profit while doing it, but they must not get in the way of science in the process.

Whilst I agree, the reality is that science is seen by many as a route to profit rather than an end unto itself.

A business may be set up to deliver technology to the people, but once it gets owned by shareholders instead of enthusiasts, the focus is on money, not technology. And, to maximize profits, it becomes at least as important to prevent others from competing and innovating as it is is to innovate. Think the computer industry. Think the movie industry. Think the pharmaceutical industry. Think virtually any industry.

So, rather than worrying about what *should* happen, let's work on what does happen.

Regarding the quote function: put "quote" (without double-quote marks) in square brackets at the top of the quote and "/quote" (without double-quote marks) in square brackets at the end.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 30, 2016 11:51PM
Quote
andychang28
Even worse, greedy businesses like Makerbot take innovations from the existing community and patent them to gain a monopoly in the market.

What exactly is "greedy" here? If one uploads something to Thingiverse, one hands over the rights to this design to Makerbot. This is a well known part of Thingiverse terms of use for, IIRC, 2 years and has been discussed at length in this forum. If a developer still uploads something to this platform while there are many many distribution channels without such terms, e.g. the RepRap wiki, one simply can't help.

Many people are stupid enough to buy cheapo counterfeits, others are stupid enough to upload valueable work to Thingiverse. There is no magic pill against stupidity.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 31, 2016 04:23AM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
Srek
Imo developing open hardware in the context of RepRap has no viable commercial base, thus i only do it as a hobby and explicitly don't see it as a potential side job.

Ah, OK, so you work actively on RepRap businesses going south by taking the value of engineering work away. Not sure if your employer would still pay you if you'd start to the same in his business field.

Anyways, such behaviour is one of the reasons why "Saving the RepRap project" (topic) can't work. Cheapo-chinese taking the value of manufacturing away, hobbyists taking the value of engnieering away, both together leaving a lot of frustration behind because nobody takes on the unpleasant parts (documentation, making something reliable, making it idiot-proof, such stuff).
Do i read you correctly in that by your opinion Open Source Hardware Development needs to be based on a commercial interest to be valid and of value?
Where do you derive this from? Is there a RepRap mission statement that i missed?


[www.bonkers.de]
[merlin-hotend.de]
[www.hackerspace-ffm.de]
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 31, 2016 08:22AM
Quote
Srek
Do i read you correctly in that by your opinion Open Source Hardware Development needs to be based on a commercial interest to be valid and of value?

You can read it in the way that there has to be a valid business case to make the movement survive. And yes, I tended to think differently about this matter a few years ago.

There are a few points hobbists rarely take care of:

- The large gap between "works for me" and "works for everybody". Experience shows that getting an idea to the "works for me" status is just 20-30% of the work needed for getting it to work for everybody. Documentation has to be written, other situations have to be taken care of, specific knowledge has to be replaced by idiot-proof procedures, already working technology has to be refined.

- Investments have to be done. Which hobbyist would order parts for 100 devices, paying with his own money, and repackage all of them just to make other people happy?

- Which hobbyist would do the above in face of the clear risk that the development is simply ignored away by the community?

- Which hobbyist would do all the maintenance for the platform, like keeping the wiki running, like fighting spam in the forum, like debugging and upgrading the hosting software?

All of this is required to make substantial value for the community from a "works for me" thing and brings (almost) no gain for the developer.

Admittedly, there are some people doing such things and I'm glad they do. Without them the situation would be a lot worse. But 95% of what RepRap is made of is driven by commercial interests. New developments don't appear in the wiki, they appear on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
March 31, 2016 09:46AM
In that light your earlier statement makes even less sense to me.
Quote
Traumflug
Ah, OK, so you work actively on RepRap businesses going south by taking the value of engineering work away.
My so far biggest personal contribution to open hardware was the Merlin hotend, which took me a year to develop to a point where it wasn't just a "works for me" solution but a more generaly viable solution. It is available as a commercial product for 2 years now and is used in commercialy available printers.
Now please tell me how my work was detrimental to the RepRap project.


[www.bonkers.de]
[merlin-hotend.de]
[www.hackerspace-ffm.de]
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 06, 2016 09:33PM
well, for me, in order to bring 3d printers to the market, businesses need to want to sell 3d printers which means they need to make money. The masses aren't interested in troubleshooting problems are putting things together, or learning what a thermistor is. They don't even want to own a screw driver. They want to print a dog. That is it.

Makerbot is making it work, Good for them. You've really got no reason to complain that some Chinese firm has knocked off what your selling, companies face that problem everyday. If you can't articulate your value proposition clearly as to why someone should spend $100 vs $25 then that is no one else's fault. it your own. E3D didn't have to pack up ands go home, they accurately described their unique value.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2016 09:35PM by Qdeathstar.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 06, 2016 10:20PM
Yes, businesses need to make money. Yes, the majority of people just want a machine that works. Yes, Makerbot has machines that work.

However, no business should ever stand in the way of scientific development for the business' own benefit.

Make money off of science, but don't destroy science in the process.

Best Wishes, Andy
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 07, 2016 10:00AM
Quote
reifsnyderb
J-Head Mk 9 will be marketed if somebody can convince me of a way to bring it to market that will not result in cheap chinese knock-offs that get spammed everywhere and destroy the product

Brian, right now I'm in need of an Arduino UNO board. I'm keen to save a bit on the headline price but I'm also aware of possible faults with Chinese copies. So what I've been was looking through ebay for "Made in Italy" Arduino/Genuino boards. I've learned the distinctive features of the original Arduino boards - a different color of a resistor on the left, different font and most notably "Made in Italy" printed on the board itself. I look for that in the photos on ebay and if I can not see it I disregard the item for sale as a clone.

I think you could
- whenever you market your product add "Made in Such-and-such-country"
- stress the fact that you can only guarantee the quality of "Made in Such-and-such country" hotends
- find a way to put a distinctive "Made in Such-and-such country" label on the products

I think sellers on e-bay are very keen to advertise as "J-Head Mk 9" but they will be a lot less keen to lie about which country the item came from. And if they do then according to e-bay rules buyers can claim their money back - since description will be clearly false. I'm not saying it's bulletproof, but I'd say this has a chance to make your product stand out.

Alternatively I imagine you could use "made by such-and-such" where such-and-such is either a company or an individual name. But then EVERY TIME you market or mention your product online you have to mention this such-and-such so that it is hammered in our buyers' stupid heads. It has to become part of your brand. Because you're an individual without a legal department you can not actually protected "J-Head" brand. But you have a much better chance that "J-Head Made in Such-and-such-country" or maybe (less booletproof) "J-Head Made by Such-and-such" will be protected - since claiming that falsely on ebay would trigger ebay protection on a wrong item description.

One other (a little wild) train of thought is: you could engrave not only "mady in/by.." but also serial numbers on your hotends. Possibly you could additionally supply each J-Head with a printed certificate. And - going one step further into madness - also list on your website which country each serial number was sold to - so that we buyers of second-hand items would have a way to judge authenticity. BTW both of these - serial numbers and certificates would edge the product more into the "luxury" area which in itself can be seen as a way of countering lower-quality knock-offs

All the best, and I'd say I'd love to see Mk9 brought to the market.

P.S. on a second though "Made in country" may sound a bit preferable to "made by such-and-such".. sounds a bit easier to protect.. and engrave it - by all means so that it's visible in the photos

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2016 11:11AM by atagunov.
VDX
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 07, 2016 11:11AM
... such "counter-measures" works only for a short time - I've done this some years ago, after first counterfeits of one of my modules 'returned' for service repairs, but this didn't help for long ... the firs counterfeit with this exact marks appeared maybe 2 months after we informed our customers about the issue and the way to find/identify the "real" thing eye rolling smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 07, 2016 11:15AM
Viktor, do you think "Made in country" mark would help?

When I press sellers on e-bay to tell me if Arduino they sell is "made in Italy" or "designed in Italy" they reluctantly divulge the info if it's not a genuine item. If they lie on that I can complain to ebay after buying. What I see is that people try to make it look genuine but they don't like to outright lie about it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2016 11:19AM by atagunov.
VDX
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 07, 2016 11:28AM
... as said, if the "special marking" of an object can be imitaded, it will!

I've even found parts with an colour-matching sticker, imitating a branded part - only visible, if you have the part in your habds, not on the object-photo eye rolling smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 02:06PM
I don't think you can rely on the average joe consumer to sift out the clones. They are not active reprap community members, nor are they going to do a bunch of research before buying a $10 to $50 item. Obviously you can't count on the cloners to follow licensing restrictions. Of course if you publish under a license that allows cloners to legally / ethically sell copies then you have no recourse and no real cause to complain.

The most recent win I can think of is the take down of the ebay seller that was selling prints of thingiverse objects without attribution and without checking the NC status of the design. The designers and community members got involved and the seller stopped. If you are going to go the open source route for your design, you will need to take some measures to squash cloners in addition to your efforts to market your product and inform consumers of the benefits. Looks like the NC license might be a reasonable way to go, if you are willing to watch for cloners and defend your product. I imagine that the reprap and/or thingiverse communities might help by sending in complaints to ebay or amazon to amplify your voice if they were informed of the issue.

A license is only as strong as the enforcement mechanism behind it, and the willingness of the license holder to defend it. Patents are the same way. If you own a patent you had better be willing to go to court to defend it or you will end up in the same situation we are talking about here.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 02:40PM
I still think doubt _ebay_ sellers will be willing to fake "Made in the UK" stamp
I'd say it's a least worth a try
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 06:26PM

http://www.madeingb.org/
Easy to copy though? Even holograms won't help, if they can go to the trouble to forge the item, then a logo wont help,
you still need a lawsuit, though it might be easier to get them if they say made in Britain and it's not.
As DC42 said earlier trying to get the name of item registered as a Brand might be a little easier to defend, but anyone here have a lawyer they trust? Win or loose they get paid.
Designed in Britain might be more appropriate for complete products, as they still may end up getting made somewhere else, and at the moment most parts are coming from China, lets, see how that works out no hte UK government is going to slap extra charges on everything
(imagine 20% blanket fee on everything),

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/08/2016 06:46PM by MechaBits.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 07:10PM
Quote
MechaBits
you still need a lawsuit, though it might be easier to get them if they say made in Britain and it's not
well the idea was to use ebay mechanisms not lawsuites

a) if the item is wrongly described I as a customer can complain and possibly get my money back
b) ebay seems to have it is own rule against selling items infidging on smb's trademark or copyright

that's all I'm saying
nothing will stop these guys outside of ebay
but on ebay - I've seen some caution on the part of the sellers
possibly precisely because of these rules
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 07:11PM
Was talking to someone earlier today who is a patent lawyer. She says (in the UK at least) if a product uses your trademark so for example J-head or E3d and is imported then customs will seize it and prevent it reaching the purchaser. Its a case of contacting them and making your case. They can't catch them all, but if they catch a proportion it helps - right?
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 07:18PM
Yeah but trading standards & the police are way to busy kicking doors in with Nike, Adidas, Liverpool FC, and others to be bothered fighting for the little guy, unless you have a lawyer breathing down their necks, and those IP lawyers will tell you, you have a very interesting case(especially if you forked out for registered TM, or R) and they can help you fight it (not win it) for a fee, upfront!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/08/2016 07:22PM by MechaBits.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 07:19PM
Quote
DjDemonD
Was talking to someone earlier today who is a patent lawyer. She says (in the UK at least) if a product uses your trademark so for example J-head or E3d and is imported then customs will seize it and prevent it reaching the purchaser. Its a case of contacting them and making your case. They can't catch them all, but if they catch a proportion it helps - right?

That would help, but if they fill out the customs forms for items sent the the UK the same way they seem to do to the US, everything is a cell phone accessory.
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 08:38PM
Quote
atagunov
but on ebay - I've seen some caution on the part of the sellers
possibly precisely because of these rules

You assume here that people care about what they buy, right? Often I see people buying an item on eBay and if it doesn't work, they simply buy another one. Without complaining, much less with investigating wether their item matches to be what it promises.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Saving the RepRap Project
April 08, 2016 10:49PM
there's irony about complaining about your inability to commercialize your 3d printing technology in a topic complaining about the commercialization of 3d printing.
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