Compare the facts (Ultimaker and Replicator 2)

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Erik de Bruijn (Ultimaker Team)

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Sep 24, 2012, 4:40:32 PM9/24/12
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I noticed that the Replicator 2 is marketed as having lots of features that Ultimaker users have really been enjoying for a lot time already. This includes build volume, low-warpage PLA printing, 100 micron layer height, etc. Their claim that it has a massive build volume is absurd, considering how much space they waste. The build volume was increased 37% with the Replicator 2, but the Ultimaker has 80% more build volume than the Replicator 1, and still 37% more build volume than the Replicator 2. Also, they're saying that it's fast... Of course there was room for improvement in the Replicator 1. :)

Of course some of their features also changed for the worse, the increased price tag and of course the closed nature of the new design.

Still, the Ultimaker, besides pioneering these features goes a bit further in those dimensions compared to Replicator 2 specs. Yet they say that it's the fastest, most accurate, etc. Maybe it's too much to ask, but perhaps you guys could help me out (as a less biased audience) to make a comparison sheet and/or feature timeline.

For the timeline, important elements are:
  • Moving head design (UM in 2010 geintroduceerd, Makerbot in 2011)
  • Cartridge heater (UM in 2011, Makerbot in 2012 pas)
  • Stepper extruders (UM in 2010, Makerbot in 2011)
  • Our signature design feature around the corners and feet (Makerbot since the Replicator)
  • Electronics encapsulated in the frame (wij in 2010, Makerbot in 2011)
  • 100 micron printing (pioneered by Paul Candler and Florian in 2011, Makerbot since Replicator 2
  • PLA printing as a low warpage solution (UM since beginning, MB since Replicator 2)
Normally I wouldn't be so offensive, but in this case Makerbot has been borrowing so many things from us, and decided not to reciprocate. I guess that's no surprise because reciprocity is not part of an investor's dictionary, only yields and multipliers. I was starting to get mixed feelings when they stopped providing kits where they could have also continued them. They have no trouble trading in their core group of supporters for a larger group of "consumers".

Dan Newman

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Sep 24, 2012, 4:58:47 PM9/24/12
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> - Cartridge heater (UM in 2011, Makerbot in 2012 pas)

Mk6+ shipped in April 2011 and had a heater cartridge,

http://wiki.makerbot.com/stepstruder-mk6-plus-assembly-1-75mm

The Mk6 shipped prior to April still used power resistors (operated
well outside of their 100% derated range :(

An advantage of the UM? 3.0 mm filament means the extruder can
handle faster feedrates. Reasoning: to get the same volume of
output it takes 2.93 times as many stepper steps with 1.75 mm filament
than it does with 3.0 mm filament. Maybe the Kickstarter
Universal Extruders with their very aggressive pinch gear
will make for a 1.75 mm extruder which can handle 150 - 200 mm/s
feedrates. Or maybe not. But right now, the speed barrier
I've been seeing on MBI bots is how fast can you run the 1.75
mm extruder. Doing 120 mm/s works with tuning. But I don't
believe anyone is managing sustained runs at 150 mm/s -- that's
just too fast for the current Mk7 and Mk8's. Jetty and I have
the Jetty Firmware now handily working at rates much faster
but the extruders just cannot handle it. (We've made the
stepper interrupt very fast, around 50 uS which means it can
single step at 20KHz which is twice the rate of Marlin's 10KHz
limit. [Translates to less vibration when you go so fast that
the stepper interrupt needs to double step.])

Dan

ddurant

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Sep 24, 2012, 5:24:36 PM9/24/12
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> 100 micron printing (pioneered by Paul Candler and Florian in 2011, Makerbot since Replicator 2
 
Hey now.. That's wrong!!
 
Paul did 20 micron prints last year (actually 0.04mm with 1/2 height perimeters), not 100 microns. Well, maybe he also did 100 but just anybody anybody can do that.

Chuck Ernst

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Sep 24, 2012, 7:12:37 PM9/24/12
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I'll tell you one thing.. the "innovation" is going to slow down for Makerbot. Investors like to see WHY you are innovating, how much it will cost and when will you make the money back. Also with the closed design you can say goodbye to the enthusiast contributing design modifications for the general good. Closing the opensource door kinda looses the "us against the big guys" feel of it all.  I bought the Ultimaker because I knew at some point I was going to mod the machine to do what I really wanted... ABS. Are people really going to be happy with a dead end machine, no ABS, no access to the firmware?

Chuck

MoonCactus

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Sep 24, 2012, 7:14:05 PM9/24/12
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A friend of mine was quite impressed by the Replicator 2 claims today and I had to calm him down with "all these amazingly incredibly new features" (this sucks even more considering their new business strategy) Now, sure, the finish and the marketing are more pro than that of the ultimaker (which itself looks much pro than a Mendel, which in turn...). This is paint, not that it does not help selling something, but this is paint.

What is bad (to you and to them, and to anyone, even their investors) is, as you say, that they really claim too much about too many thing, and that they hide the truth a bit. E.g. just looking at these nice set of planetary gears (a very nice work of the open source community BTW that helps them sell their machine -- this is legal though not very ethical to me): the printer will not print this at once but they put it back assembled on the (no more) heated bed to make it "as if". Of course it will help selling their machine. But nobody would put the assembled object back on the bed like this unless you're a nasty businessman of course.

Nothing looks like a tradeofff on their "new" feature list! Eg. sure, PLA is great but this is used as an argument to drop the heated bed! the price should go lower then? no because you get a nice paint and now you need to pay big bucks to the advertising companies behind....
They obviously are making a lot of tradeoff with the replicator 2, may be just to generate more cash for their investors (so early?!)

So what? I think that when the average joe buys this printer, he will soon realize that things really are not as easy as they tell.
May be a lot of people will start complaining that the replicator 2 is not 100% reliable, just as any of the "low cost" printers, and for a while.
And some of them will realize they could have done the same with cheaper printers such as the ultimaker.
For a while at least, the other ones will double check everywhere before buying, so it's your chance (imo) to re-state what you say in your post so it gets the maximum publicity. Informative and factual side by side video really would be cool, when aimed at the public and not at investors, not even to makerbot that cannot care as much as when they had no investors...). And all their claims may get back in their face (well,especillay on their user support)...

They have the decency not to censors anything (may be as long as the investors do not go and read their forums?), so why not post questions on the bottom of their page where they are selling the makerbot? It is too late to speak with their VC in the first place, that would have been interesting when (may be) they were told that makerbot invented it all. Now they certainly do not want to hear someone tell it was done before elsewhere so it's a bit late for open letters ;)

Also as many stated it, since they go closed source, they will have to deal with their own sets of problem. They can make money, but they really need to improve their price tag / feature list / and even more, their reliablility if they want to succeed in the long term beside personal wealthiness. Meanwhile, the open community will move forward, more and more, posting designs and improvement that cannot be closed in a standard company like theirs. See Adrian Bowyer post about "It is the evolutionary game theory that matters."

So keep smiling imho... and do not think too much about income! It could make more room for you in the field now if you listen carefully to the community. Just an idea in this respect: it may be a nice time for you to support, harbor or develop a "safe" & fully open thingiverse alternative. I am sure that lots of designers would flee to it, and Ultimaker would gain some deserved visibility.

BTW I cannot tell everything was invented for/by the ultimaker either (I could not, I just joined the community a while ago). But at least the ultimaker website is not making any false nor childish claim, and does not tell corporate "assertions" (another word comes in mind, as with almost all businesses do, like Palmsource hiring a "poetic writer" to helps sales at times it was almost dead... come on, coporate bull**t does not pay much in the long term)

I really listed pros and cons before buying an Ultimaker and even considered the Makerbot 1 for some time (I would never again, better wait for some real prosumer or make myself now). I really chose an ultimaker b/c I think it is superior in many regards (may be not for the heated bed... but wait, it's gone!?!). I just wanted something solid, well documented, that I could  understand and tweak freely, with educated people working on it, without cheating. I would not fight for it though (no bias), but for now I think I would still recommend this printer.

Sorry for this long post, hope it helps a bit!
Time to move forward :)


ddurant

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Sep 24, 2012, 7:29:48 PM9/24/12
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I think the lack of ABS is because the have a store now, where people can smell the machines printing...

ddurant

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Sep 24, 2012, 7:50:09 PM9/24/12
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> I think the lack of ABS is because the have a store now, where people can smell the machines printing...
 
See the start (0:15 or so) of http://youtu.be/pvT0NhWW3F4.. Bre Petis talking about "how important it is for people to touch, feel and even smell" prints..

zzap999

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Sep 24, 2012, 8:50:03 PM9/24/12
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    I have two Makerbot Cupcakes and an Ultimaker.  The only major part that Makerbot has over the Ultimaker was the MK5/6 filament drive gear in which I used in the Scott Mayson Ultristruder.  However, MB's initial Cupcake MK4 setup was just a slipping disaster and found myself spending more for the new MK5.   Now I know what works and what doesn't.  

    The next major leap was Jetty firmware which was first applied to the UM.  This was a very eye opening improvement due to the careful handling of high speed and precision.  Then you have Cura which even adds to that.  I don't think Slic3r has gotten there yet.  MB only users are still stuck with the slow RepG with all it's cumbersome parameters.  They have Makerware but I don't see a comparison based on the videos I've seen so far.

    For build volume,  I see that the UM's x/y size is enough for now.  However,  they showed an example of a double vertical prototype design by just extending the box columns along with the z rods and screw.  Bragging about size improvement should go along that path since your only moving in one stable direction.  

    I don't miss ABS.  I use it sparingly.  PLA is just gives more precision.  Now I'm seeing polycarbonate rolls which are expensive and stronger and requires more heating.   So the direction should be more using filament or making new types of filament that doesn't require a heating bed and yet has sufficient strength properties.  Why a heating bed if you don't really need it?  Also, vendors from China are countering the price increases here in the states.

    I don't see MB's closed design as a threat because it's too late for that to be an advantage.  Their electronics is really no different functionally than UM's or other vendors like what's sold in Ultimachine.com.  They just drive motors back and forth and follow the commands of the software.  The software is the key.  I don't see MB software to even be close to what Jetty has made.  Also, their hardware along with UM's is again something that can be gathered elsewhere.  

     As for reliability, I don't see how the Replicator 2 can avoid any hiccups.  One rogue blob of PLA on the platform will lead to a grinding collision for any machine.  All I see in the Replicator 2 is improved packaging, a fully assembled machine at your doorstep and promised real time service.  

Marcelino Llano

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Sep 25, 2012, 4:25:09 AM9/25/12
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I'm an industrial designer and I think some people in the open-hardware movement are missing the point.
Aside with intellectual property matters and whether or not the R2 is morally good, I see the following:

- The thing comes assembled, most people are not hackers
- They dispatch in the same week, my UM took three weeks
- They have an ecosystem (it doesn't matter who built it)
- Most people will print PLA, because they don't know about plastics
- The software just works, and it looks like a deskjet printer interface

We are in the product territory here people, and products are not just a collection of features
but the whole pack, including the experience of buying it and before that. If this printer is faster
or better than the other is not important once we reach a certain level of quality. At that point
what is important is to be able to reach the market with a good enough product. They also seem
to have distribution solved.

So, as much as I like my UM, I can see how a little studio or a designer will prefer R2.
Because they are moving the focus from building the machine and upgrading it to printing. 
Printing is the name of the game.

In short, they are taking a tiny new market of hobbyist 3d printing and moving into the mass market.
Lets be honest and face it, US people really now how to do marketing, sell and do distribution.


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Marcelino Llano

MoonCactus

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Sep 25, 2012, 4:56:45 AM9/25/12
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This is true, esp. the dispatch that is horrible at some times with the ultimaker (and pay first, ouch!)

Yes, Makerbot will sell even better with such good packaging and a lot of bragging
Anyhow, I really think that no such printer is stable enough for the mass market yet, so they may have switched a bit early since they will have to deal with a lot of feedback and disappointed average joes.
Now, the investors made it possible to them to hire what's needed for user and after sales support, it will probably not kill them in the short term at least.

There is the risk, but they did not want to be late either. Some inventions still need to me made for a stable printer such as using plastic pellets instead of filament, I hope it will be the open source that find it first ;)
What really is a pity is we start to hear mainstream media that Makerbot invented 3D printing at home, just like we hear that the iphone invented mobile applications or was the first smartphone etc.
If they succeed, they could become like Apple I guess, good and evil at the same time.

Dave Head

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Sep 25, 2012, 5:11:12 AM9/25/12
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one thing i dont like about the replicator 2 is the pic of the printer next to a green tractor with someone with no knowledge of printing would think that it printed that in 1 go


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ddurant

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Sep 25, 2012, 10:59:57 AM9/25/12
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> Yes, Makerbot will sell even better with such good packaging and a lot of bragging
 
Yep. And even though it's more marketing than engineering, there's something to be said for the look of their machine. UM would probably sell a lot more boxes if they had a metal frame/skins.
 
The big reason they're going to sell a ton of machines is because of companies like MAKE that give MBI lots of good, free (and unfair) press.
 
In the past, I've really held off speaking my mind about the BS press MBI gets and I think lots of others have done the same. I suspect that will change.

Bradley

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Sep 25, 2012, 11:16:19 AM9/25/12
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On Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:59:58 AM UTC-4, ddurant wrote:
> Yes, Makerbot will sell even better with such good packaging and a lot of bragging
 
Yep. And even though it's more marketing than engineering, there's something to be said for the look of their machine. UM would probably sell a lot more boxes if they had a metal frame/skins.
 
The big reason they're going to sell a ton of machines is because of companies like MAKE that give MBI lots of good, free (and unfair) press.
 
In the past, I've really held off speaking my mind about the BS press MBI gets and I think lots of others have done the same. I suspect that will change.


Don't forget that Bre worked for MAKE, and has many buddies there.  MAKE helped put MB on the map in the first place, so that's why the press is plentiful and free. 

Jelle Boomstra

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Sep 25, 2012, 11:20:36 AM9/25/12
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Just a good paintjob will improve the looks substantially and will cost the least amount engineering-wise.

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ddurant

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Sep 25, 2012, 12:19:40 PM9/25/12
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> Don't forget that Bre worked for MAKE, and has many buddies there. MAKE
> helped put MB on the map in the first place, so that's why the press is plentiful
> and free.
 
MAKE just held their first-ever 3d printer shootout. I think it's due to hit the shelves just about the same time the Replicator2 starts shipping.
 
I know an Ultimaker was there but have no idea who was driving it or how well it did. I've also heard an Replicator2 was there.
 
Am I going to be seeing you in Queens this weekend, Bradley??? You better be there.. :)

Peter Moehwald

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Sep 25, 2012, 1:05:12 PM9/25/12
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Am Dienstag, 25. September 2012 18:19:40 UTC+2 schrieb ddurant:
 
MAKE just held their first-ever 3d printer shootout. I think it's due to hit the shelves just about the same time the Replicator2 starts shipping.
 
I know an Ultimaker was there but have no idea who was driving it or how well it did. I've also heard an Replicator2 was there.


Looking at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/makerbot/-7qiOM90iTs and then at the pictures at

Day 2:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/jabella/sets/72157631492925906/

it looks as if the Ultimaker went through all his downsides - leaking nozzle, stringing (no retraction) and slipping belts. Most pictures show either the Ultimaker in disarray or very unfavourable prints :-(

I don't think that Make will have a very positive impression from that :-(

Mr. Seeker

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Sep 25, 2012, 1:45:09 PM9/25/12
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Well, if they claim that the Ultimaker is bad, I am going to throw the C't magazine at them and ask them why they never took the time to test properly.

Lets all download the "stress print" of them and show them that it can handle better quality than they are showing ;)

Bradley

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Sep 25, 2012, 2:36:24 PM9/25/12
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On Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:19:40 PM UTC-4, ddurant wrote:

Am I going to be seeing you in Queens this weekend, Bradley??? You better be there.. :)


Unfortunately, no.    The Maker Faire people sent me an invite to apply to exhibit, but I never heard from the guy who ran the 3D printer village last year.  Thus I figured there was low interest as 3D printing is not so new anymore.

It was a lot of work last year for little reward, so I'll be spending the time working in my garden instead.

Bradley

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Sep 25, 2012, 2:45:46 PM9/25/12
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it looks as if the Ultimaker went through all his downsides - leaking nozzle, stringing (no retraction) and slipping belts. Most pictures show either the Ultimaker in disarray or very unfavourable prints :-(

I don't think that Make will have a very positive impression from that :-(

I'd imagine they'd be judging printers from a first time consumer's expectation: the printer comes assembled, ready to plug in and print, or you assemble the printer and perform prints straight away -- stock -- no tweaking, modding, etc.   After all, that's the fairest way.

Thus, I'd assume UM would not fair well.   It still requires quite a lot of TLC before it produces its precision and speedy magic.   On the other hand, MBR2 should fair very well, because it's fully assembled, tweaked and tested before it ships.   

If UM Ltd assembled, tweaked and tested their units before shipping, there'd likely be comparable if not superior results from the UM.  Until then, if ever, the UM will always be at a disadvantage in such a shootout.


ddurant

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Sep 25, 2012, 3:15:52 PM9/25/12
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Bummer.. Maybe next year. Or you can just come to wander around and see the sights - far less work than exhibiting!

Bernhard Kubicek

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Sep 25, 2012, 3:38:48 PM9/25/12
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oh my, the jetty firmware. Not sure what came from it, but it caused a lot of headaches because they did not publish the source but only the hex files, violating gpl. but thats not makerbots fault..
Bernhard



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Bernhard Kubicek

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Sep 25, 2012, 3:40:07 PM9/25/12
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there is one thing where the replicator is better, i hate to admit: smaller filament would be very beneficial for the ultimaker as well.

Bernhard

Jetty

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Sep 25, 2012, 5:52:41 PM9/25/12
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>oh my, the jetty firmware. Not sure what came from it, but it caused a lot
>of headaches because they did not publish the source but only the hex
>files, violating gpl. but thats not makerbots fault..

Bernhard,

I suggest you check your facts first before making claims like that.
GPL
was never violated and the source is available here.

https://github.com/jetty840/G3Firmware

And also, although we weren't required to, as a courtesy, we also
fed formulas and technical documentation to you personally
to help you produce a better Advance in addition to a detailed reports
on all
the bugs we found in Marlin.

You thanked us for the input, thanked us for uploading the code to
github,
and told us we did a great job.

So, I'm not sure why the hostility now. Having a bad day or
something?

And Jetty Firmware is alive a strong. We can achieve 120mm/s reliably
with as good
results as non-accelerated. 150mm/s is also possible with a well
tuned extruder.
We expect to exceed 150mm/s with the new Kickstarter extruders. Also
we've been
printing at 10Microns too.

You may want to look at incorporating the detailed changes we provided
you back into Marlin.

Joergen Geerds

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Sep 25, 2012, 5:56:50 PM9/25/12
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On Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:19:40 PM UTC-4, ddurant wrote:
> Don't forget that Bre worked for MAKE, and has many buddies there. MAKE
> helped put MB on the map in the first place, so that's why the press is plentiful
> and free.
 
MAKE just held their first-ever 3d printer shootout. I think it's due to hit the shelves just about the same time the Replicator2 starts shipping.
I know an Ultimaker was there but have no idea who was driving it or how well it did. I've also heard an Replicator2 was there.
no idea, as the resident NYC UM owner, I certainly wasn't there or asked to go to Brooklyn/.

 
 Am I going to be seeing you in Queens this weekend, Bradley??? You better be there.. :)
I'm going to be out at the maker faire as well, bringing my 360 Rig along, probably saturday, most of the day. 

Dan Newman

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Sep 25, 2012, 5:57:58 PM9/25/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com, Jetty

On 25 Sep 2012 , at 12:38 PM, Bernhard Kubicek wrote:

> oh my, the jetty firmware. Not sure what came from it, but it caused a lot
> of headaches because they did not publish the source but only the hex
> files, violating gpl. but thats not makerbots fault..

Oh my, what a crock of bs Bernhard. So are you folks now tired of
bashing MBI and now going after other people?

1. The GPL does not require that you publish source. Whether or not we
had published is not relevant as regards "violating gpl".

2. The GPL says that you must make the sources available to anyone that
downloads the derived work. That is, anyone that downloads the derived
work can make a request for the sources under the GPL terms. Publishing
them is just one means of making them available. It's a very convenient
means which is why we had been and continue to put the sources on github.

3. The individual who complained and started the flap had NEVER
downloaded the firmware. And he publically stated that he had not.
That individual therefore had NO GPL claim for the sources. No one
else in that flap asked for the sources.

4. MBI, the copyright holder, has been cool with our actions. Indeed
they were very supportive of us and remain so.

5. We had been publishing the sources. However, we had also been
going through a lot of turnover with a lot of field testers testing
stuff for us. The code wasn't stable for a period of time and thus
we had not kept github up to date. I personally consider it a disservice
to put known not working correctly sources, or sources with regressions,
out for people -- it's a waste of everyone's time.

6. Within two days of that meritless request for the sources, we updated
github. Had someone with a valid GPL claim asked, we would have made
them available then and there, albeit with a couple of issues. But, no
one else asked for the then current sources. (Keep in mind that
older versions were up on github and available to all comers.)

7. Despite our attempts to contribute back to Marlin, I've found you
and Erik to be, to put it mildly, ungrateful.

Dan

Zip Zap

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Sep 25, 2012, 5:59:24 PM9/25/12
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How prevalent is Jetty firmware among other 3D printers?  Here is a list of what I've seen so far:


From: Jetty <clell...@gmail.com>
To: Ultimaker <ulti...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:52 PM
Subject: Re: Compare the facts (Ultimaker and Replicator 2)
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Dan Newman

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Sep 25, 2012, 6:03:25 PM9/25/12
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> And Jetty Firmware is alive a strong. We can achieve 120mm/s reliably
> with as good
> results as non-accelerated. 150mm/s is also possible with a well
> tuned extruder.
> We expect to exceed 150mm/s with the new Kickstarter extruders. Also
> we've been
> printing at 10Microns too.

P.S. That's with the Jetty stepper interrupt single stepping the extruders
which yields demonstrably better print quality than Marlin. Marlin
cannot achieve that: its stepper interrupt has to cut over to double
stepping the steppers when the step rate hits 10 KHz (~120 mm/s on an Ultimaker).
Maybe there's even more to learn from Jetty since the last time you looked at it?

Our most current results are here,

https://github.com/jetty840/MightyBoardFirmware

However, we're already making progress on the next iteration.

Dan

Dan Newman

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Sep 25, 2012, 6:17:21 PM9/25/12
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On 25 Sep 2012 , at 2:59 PM, Zip Zap wrote:

> How prevalent is Jetty firmware among other 3D printers? Here is a list of what I've seen so far:
> http://www.3ders.org/pricecompare/3dprinters/

To the best of our knowledge it is only running Makerbot printers. Why? Because
that's what Jetty and I have. Other people are welcome to port it to other electronics and
printers.

Dan

ddurant

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Sep 25, 2012, 7:01:40 PM9/25/12
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Dudes.. Chill, please.
 
Bernhard's a good guy and if it seems like this could just be a misunderstanding, it probably is. Really.
  
>  So are you folks now tired of bashing MBI ...
 
Ha!! No.. Not tired of it at all and still think they deserve every single word of it.

Jetty

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Sep 25, 2012, 8:11:49 PM9/25/12
to Ultimaker
> >  So are you folks now tired of bashing MBI ...
>
> Ha!! No.. Not tired of it at all and still think they deserve every single
> word of it.
And as there have been some Ultimaker folks trashing MBI's open source
policy on the Makerbot Operators forum, I think it's only fair to
point out that
there are some on this forum who have posted that Ultimaker is not
fully open source
either (and hasn't been for a while).

Not saying I agree or disagree with what either vendor is doing (I'm
sure they have their
reasons). Just saying it's somewhat hypocritical to target MBI when
Ultimaker is
doing something similar and was doing it prior.

Everybody is entitled to state their opinion, but as far as bashing
people or companies, try being nice, you might achieve more.

When people are being threatened with violence over this, I think it's
gone too far.

Taylor Alexander

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Sep 25, 2012, 8:16:19 PM9/25/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
Yeah, the Ultimaker has never been as open source as any of the previous MakerBots. MBI shared far more than just the electronics and the wood files, and at least with the Replicator they didn't restrict commercial re-use (not familiar with the licenses on the others).

I'm not happy with what MBI did but I'm not happy with how UM is treating open source either.

Jelle Boomstra

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Sep 26, 2012, 11:20:15 AM9/26/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
Jetty, Dan, Bernhard & Eric,

I wish you all some some face to face contact, possibly with beer involved. That would be very constructive I think and take away some suspicions/assumptions. All of you make great stuff, investing your time in great stuff will benefit all of us.
I hereby pledge 10 euro into the jetty-marlin beer fund, who will do the same?

Jensa

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Sep 26, 2012, 5:16:18 PM9/26/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
+1 Jelle!

Not sure why this thread strayed onto the Jetty firmware in the first place. While I love fiddling with my UM (and I also did the same with the MB TOM that I used before that) I'm very much in the same camp as Marcelino here. I totally see the temptation of buying something that just works.

J

Zip Zap

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Sep 27, 2012, 2:20:12 AM9/27/12
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Replicator 1 wasn't hassle free.  You can read the bewilderment from newbies when confronting numerous Replicator 1 hiccups.   As an owner of two Cupcakes,  I could sense the obsession these newbies had over warping and leveling of the platform.  If an endstop was loose, look out!  Then there's the entanglement of filament on those small spools.  So there's Bre and his colorful flawless printing videos and then there's the reality of operating it yourself.  


From: Jensa <jen...@gmail.com>
To: ulti...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:16 PM

Subject: Re: Compare the facts (Ultimaker and Replicator 2)
+1 Jelle!

Not sure why this thread strayed onto the Jetty firmware in the first place. While I love fiddling with my UM (and I also did the same with the MB TOM that I used before that) I'm very much in the same camp as Marcelino here. I totally see the temptation of buying something that just works.

J

Zip Zap

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Sep 27, 2012, 2:23:44 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
Another example is the UP printer.  The videos were flawless.  Then I started reading one guy post a problem on the Makerbot board about a leaking and failing extruder on his UP printer. 


From: Zip Zap <zza...@yahoo.com>
To: "ulti...@googlegroups.com" <ulti...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 11:20 PM

Taylor Alexander

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Sep 27, 2012, 5:30:47 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com


On Sep 26, 2012 11:23 PM, "Zip Zap" <zza...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Another example is the UP printer.  The videos were flawless.  Then I started reading one guy post a problem on the Makerbot board about a leaking and failing extruder on his UP printer. 

Failing extruders!? That's unheard of!

I read amazing things about the Ultimaker too, but we've all had our share of problems. I like my UM, but we all know marketing and reality will vary. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But I can't help but notice that Jetty's comments on the hypocrisy are real. We really can't fault MB for being closed source and problematic when the UM is barely open source and equally problematic.

The only thing to do now is be better than MB. I'm happy that UM is working on the reliability but the open source issue hasn't been resolved at all. The UM post about being Open Source Hardware (with capital letters) is still up, but the UM itself still doesn't comply with the ideals of the OSHW movement and I've seen no commitment from the company on fixing that.

Let's fix that and be better than MB.

Daid

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Sep 27, 2012, 7:29:17 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
About the state of UM-open-source "policy". It's a difficult subject.

Just some information I have.
First the UM blog post about Open-Source-Hardware. The blog post is clear that they opened up the lasercut files, the electronics, firmware and PC software. Those files are open, and out there, so that's good. The only problem here is the "none-commercial" clause. Which conflicts with the OSHW definition.
This clause in the OSHW definition is "4. Free redistribution", and it was added in the 0.3 draft. (And clause like that is absent from the 0.2 draft) This draft was added to the history on 22 september 2011. The blogpost from Ultimaker is from May 2012. Ultimaker might have have realized back then that this clause was in the OSHW definition (which was only a draft)
Blog post as reference: http://blog.ultimaker.com/open-source-hardware/

This blog post is also quite old, still from the time when Ultimaker was 3 people in a garage building kits. With a vision for the future. As Ultimaker grew, this vision also changed a bit. Now they are running this company, and making a living of it. And they have 15 employes that they need to pay.
This puts more priority on making a bit of money, and less on the ideal of everything Open Source.

The UltiController is a prime example of this going a bit wrong. Bernard developed this controller and firmware. As far as I understood, Ultimaker payed him for this development. The firmware is open-source and everyone is enjoying the fruits of his labor. The PCB design for the UltiController was on thingiverse, before Ultimaker had their first production run.
Now, Ultimaker had some (for me unknown) problems with production of the UltiController. But because the plans where already opened on thingiverse. There where other shops already selling this new controller. Which means Ultimaker had made an investment, but they didn't get the initial revenue. Which is a bit bad if you depend on this revenue to keep Ultimaker alive, and food on the table.

Then there is this 3 boss company, where there are 3 different opinions about how open they should be. I know for example that Sierd is very pro-open-source. With 3 different opinions about what should be done, and lots of other work to do. The easiest thing to do is... nothing. (I don't say that that is the best thing, but I feel like that is what happened).

Taylor Alexander

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Sep 27, 2012, 7:52:23 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
Well, they've definitely gone the route of doing nothing. But that's not sustainable.

As far as the OSHW license - yes, it has been through some betas and the non-commercial stuff may not always have been there, but my beef with the Ultimaker Open Sourcing is not purely that it is non-commercial. In fact I'm less concerned if they keep it non-commercial than I am with the fact that the information is just really incomplete. The OSHW license makes it clear that there should be sufficient information made available for an reasonable technical person to recreate the work (this helps the community by encouraging development). The manufacturer needs to provide enough information that their work is easy to reproduce, and the license clearly suggests a real Bill Of Materials is critical. With the Ultimaker, this is far from the case. I have plenty of friends that wanted to build their own Ultimaker, but the lack of information is staggering, and so far none of them have succeeded, even the ones that seemed to really be trying (I know one cut out his own wood and attempted to create a BOM).

When the Makerbot when closed source, a lot of people talked about a post from the MakerBot blog about development stubs. If you close off development, your branch will die. The Ultimaker is an incredible machine, but it has some clear flaws and Ultimaking is slow to fix them. If they really let people build their own and even sell them, we'd have a whole community of people working on upgrades, not just the 3 founders and a few dedicated Ultimaker owners.

That's what i want to see for UM. I want to see it be the next reprap. Currently I'm enamored by the possibilities of the Rostock, but a solid XY+Z machine like the Ultimaker certainly has its place in the Reprap family tree. The question is, will it be a simple stub that dies, or a real contribution to the community?

Boman33

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Sep 27, 2012, 8:58:36 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com

Thanks Daid for the background info.

 

From:  Daid    Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 07:29
About the state of UM-open-source "policy". It's a difficult subject.
Just some information I have.

---<snip

Gijs de Zwart

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Sep 27, 2012, 9:37:19 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
The biggest step I see now is the fact that MB has opened a store where the average consumer is able to see and buy a working 3D printer. I'm not saying this is the first time that a 3D printer is available in a consumer store (I believe the first was a BfB at Bijenkorf in the Netherlands sold by Freedom Of Creation) but this is a clear sign that UM should take a closer look at.

Because isn't this what the original Reprap project is about? to put personal creation in the hands of people. MB seems to be confident enough about their product to take that step.

UM is certainly not ready for that and I wonder if they will ever be. Because if more accurate systems are going to become mainstream, then FDM machines will become the matrix printer of 3D. Right now people are still amazed by 3D printing, even if the resulting prints are rough and inaccurate. But that will change quickly.

cheers,
Gijs



ddurant

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Sep 27, 2012, 10:48:11 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
> ...Because if more accurate systems are going to become mainstream, then FDM
> machines will become the matrix printer of 3D. Right now people are still amazed by
> 3D printing, even if the resulting prints are rough and inaccurate. But that will
> change quickly.
 
It seems like SLA will always be relatively small machines. Or the tub-type will be anyway - if somebody came up with a way to do SLA without having to have a pool of goo, it would be easier to go bigger. Powder printers, also known for high-detail, are a bit of a turn off for me because they have a much bigger footprint and seem like they'd be prone to making a mess of the place - more of a shop machine than a home machine.
 
So... I'm not worried about FDM going away any time soon. SLA will probably grow in popularity but I think it will be limited to smaller machines.
 
What I'd like to see from UM is some different sized machines. I thought the UM+ was awesome - saw one last year at MF:NYC - and if they offered an upgrade kit, I'd be the first in line. I'd also like to see a machine capable of doing ~500mm cubes, preferrably fed by pellets instead of filament. Even though UM is one of the bigger printers out there, I still sometimes wish it was bigger - having a .5m build area would open it up to a lot more applications.
 
I also think they should offer a metal version. This is one of the few things MBI did right - we've known for years that the general public looks down on the wooden frames. Have a note on the store that says "wood is plenty strong and cheaper but if you want metal, here's the option." I know it's not necessarily an easy thing to actually do this but it would look a lot better, which is sometimes important..

Daid

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Sep 27, 2012, 11:09:32 AM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
The UM+ has some problems, that's why they never released an upgrade kit. There are 2 UM+ versions, the one from Ultimaker and the one from Protospace. Both show Z-wobble in the final print. The lower the platform the more wobble you see in the final model.
With tall objects it also became more and more difficult to get the object to stick to the bed during the whole print.

I think an UM+ upgrade kit could be assembled by the community. What you need is:
-Longer Z screw
-Longer Z guides, but maybe these need to be thicker to remove the Z wobble.
-New side panels (should be possible to design from the thingiverse lasercut stuff)
-Extension cables for the steppers and other electronics.

It's quite easy to extend the Z size, unlike the X/Y size which would require stronger guides or they would flex.

ddurant

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Sep 27, 2012, 12:27:07 PM9/27/12
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> The lower the platform the more wobble you see in the final model.
 
Though I don't double people have observed this, I've never really understood it. The platform's attached in the same way throughout the Z range and unless something is pushing on it, I don't see why it would wobble more at one spot than another. If anything, it seems like it might wobble less as it goes lower since it's farther away from the unconstrained-top of the screw.. It would take more money and a bit more redesign but I wonder if adding a guide rods or 2 in the front would help.
 
Maybe that's a discussion for a different thread, though. Don't mean to go too far off-topic here...

ddurant

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Sep 27, 2012, 12:27:59 PM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
> Though I don't double people have observed this
 
"double" = "doubt". My fingers seem to be ignoring my brain today..

Dan Newman

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Sep 27, 2012, 1:20:50 PM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com

On 27 Sep 2012 , at 6:37 AM, Gijs de Zwart wrote:

> The biggest step I see now is the fact that MB has opened a store where the
> average consumer is able to see and buy a working 3D printer. I'm not
> saying this is the first time that a 3D printer is available in a consumer
> store (I believe the first was a BfB at Bijenkorf in the Netherlands sold
> by Freedom Of Creation) but this is a clear sign that UM should take a
> closer look at.

And last weekend was the public grand opening of a 3D printing store in Pasadena, California,

http://deezmaker.com

(Pasadena is the home of JPL -- the mars rover folks, CalTech, the Rose Parade & Bowl,
etc.) It's also the folks who brought us the Bukobot.

So, that's at least three 3D printing stores open to the public and doing retail
sales.

Dan

Taylor Alexander

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Sep 27, 2012, 3:53:03 PM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
Another 3D printing store is Makers Factory in Santa Cruz. Not sure if that was included in the count.

MakersFactory.com

I like the owners - cool people.

Joel Chia

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Sep 27, 2012, 8:05:02 PM9/27/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
ddurant, You know how the nozzle can occasionally drag a print?

Now imagine that tall print acts like a lever. When the nozzle imparts some X/Y force on the print, the part itself will flex a little (taller and thinner the feature, the more it flexes), and the springs on the bed may give a little (but I think it's more of the former).

Cheers,
-Joel

ddurant

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Sep 27, 2012, 8:20:13 PM9/27/12
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Something like THAT I understand.. As a print gets taller, it's like a longer moment arm so poking at the top sorta torques the bottom more than on shorter prints. Harder to keep attached to the platform, shows up similar to artifacts you get with z-wobble.
 
That's not the same as "more z wobble," though, which is what I think I've heard people say a number of times - there have been discussions in the past about the UM+.
 
Actual z-wobble artifacts are usually nicely periodic. Artifacts from bumping the print are much less so..

Peter Moehwald

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Sep 28, 2012, 2:45:27 AM9/28/12
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Am Freitag, 28. September 2012 02:20:13 UTC+2 schrieb ddurant:
Something like THAT I understand.. As a print gets taller, it's like a longer moment arm so poking at the top sorta torques the bottom more than on shorter prints. Harder to keep attached to the platform, shows up similar to artifacts you get with z-wobble.
 
That's not the same as "more z wobble," though, which is what I think I've heard people say a number of times - there have been discussions in the past about the UM+.
 

My hyptothesis:

As you wrote, it's unlikely that the Wobble itself would get stronger (meaning more force, more movement of the Z-Axis / buildplatform) - but a the large print acting as lever makes _amplifies_ the visibility of existing wobble by means of resonance.

In the moment the Z-Axis moves,  the whole (tall, lever-like) structure will get a small push in one direction ("the wobble") - and swing a bit. As the structure is more flexible as it is taller, it swings a bit more or longer. As the printhead doesn't stop printing at that moment, you get a small distortion, an artefact. It's a bit like hitting a pothole in the road.


Jensa

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Sep 28, 2012, 4:06:17 AM9/28/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
@Gijs according to Adrian Bowyer (the originator of the Reprap project) the only purpose of Reprap is the replication and working together to improve an open idea. 3D printing with plastic is just a suitable and feasible vehicle currently. This post by Adrian is really clarifying and a good read: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,155473,155751#msg-155751 Recommended!

Boman33

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Sep 28, 2012, 4:45:21 AM9/28/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com

There is also another possibility:

If the motor shaft coupling is not accurately centering the leadscrew, there will be an eccentric movement of the leadscrew.

When the table is high, the free end of the leadscrew will flex and a minimum movement is transferred to the table.

When the table is near the bottom, the leadscrew is much stiffer and the eccentric movement will be transferred to the table.

Bertho

Gijs de Zwart

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Sep 28, 2012, 8:48:29 AM9/28/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
@Jensa: thanks for the pointer. I was indeed a bit off with my statement.

btw: Just saw another printer being sold at Bijenkorf. This year it is the Cube from 3D Systems selling for 1050 euro

cheers,
Gijs

Bernhard Kubicek

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Oct 1, 2012, 8:01:01 AM10/1/12
to ulti...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM, Daid <dai...@gmail.com> wrote:
About the state of UM-open-source "policy". It's a difficult subject.

The UltiController is a prime example of this going a bit wrong. Bernard developed this controller and firmware. As far as I understood, Ultimaker payed him for this development.
I got free hardware for it, payment is maybe the wrong term, as I lost money in development (500€, mostly for failed attempts, and for sending around prototypes to people) and obtained hardware instead. However, that exchange happend after the panel was working. Ultimaker took the concept, and made it mass produceable, in a process were I had not much to add. There was/is no cash involved however.
 
The firmware is open-source and everyone is enjoying the fruits of his labor. The PCB design for the UltiController was on thingiverse, before Ultimaker had their first production run.
I know of no shops, but only a few individuals that produced them before Ultimaker, nothing that collided with the non-commercial clause I put in the schematics. Only afterwards some started to produce, and i did not try to sue or obtain license fees, as I think that the schematics is not the real hardware. Only the schematics were published, which is quite fair, IMHO, and only with previous discussion with Martijn.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:15081
There was an much older version online with a board file:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12663
But I know of nobody who really build this monster..


I think it would be stupid to have  a closed source undocumented hardware  being supported by an open source firmware. Also, I think its obligation that if you use an open source thing, you should contribute back, and give also others the chance to improve.

Now, Ultimaker had some (for me unknown) problems with production of the UltiController. But because the plans where already opened on thingiverse. There where other shops already selling this new controller. Which means Ultimaker had made an investment, but they didn't get the initial revenue. Which is a bit bad if you depend on this revenue to keep Ultimaker alive, and food on the table.

To my knowledge this is not true. But maybe I don't know everything.

greetings,
 bernhard

Daid

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Oct 1, 2012, 9:23:59 AM10/1/12
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Now that I'm at the UM HQ. I can take a look at the UM+ they have standing here. This UM+ is the normal design, just extended to 1m of print area (guess).

The problem is in the Z rods. By just pushing the platform by hand sideways, I can make the whole platform swivel about 7mm at the front. It doesn't feel very stable. And I can see the rods bending a bit. So for real proper UM+ you would need thicker rods, or a different linear guide system.

(On the interesting side, this printer does have a normal back panel with room for 2 extruder drives, instead of the normal room for 1)

zzap999

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Oct 2, 2012, 3:49:39 AM10/2/12
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Thicker x/y rods?
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