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  1. #1
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    Pros and Cons of Open Source and Closed Source

    Open source development has brought a lot of advantages to desktop 3D printing. Is our flirtation with open source a youthful indiscretion that will soon be discarded? Or is open source the key to our recent past and to unlocking the future of 3D printing? We take a close look at several of the pros and cons of open source vs. closed source 3D printing at 3DPrint.com: http://3dprint.com/171554/open-source-or-closed-source/


  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Your link doesn't work. So it is hard to find out more about the printer in your picture. But I can tell you this much: It is a Prusa i3 Open Source derivative. And that means there is a 85% chance it is running the Marlin (Open Source) firmware.

    Let's press rewind and look at some previous news Brian posted. Check out this post where AutoDesk is bragging about their new 3D-Printer operating system. http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.p...ighlight=spark

    If you look at it from a user's perspective, the whole claim to fame is they were going to make Spark not allow the user to print as many objects as they wanted. Everything the printer did was going to be controlled by the licensing mechanism. And of course, AutoDesk thought every printer maker would be dying to have the AutoDesk 3D-Printer OS controlling their printers. Here is one of the press quotes:
    In doing so they will enable the streamlining of the entire 3D printing process from design to fabrication for users of the new operating system, and push forward their initiative to nurture the Spark platform into a goliath within the 3D printing space. More details on this breaking news may be found here: http://3dprint.com/86826/windows-10-spark-autodesk/
    Guess what? It has been 2 years and Spark is NOT a Goliath within the 3D-Printing space. In fact... AutoDesk has it on a very limited life support budget and has canceled sales of their printer that was using it. And lets talk about Statasys for a second. They charge way too much for their filament. How do they get away with it? Well... They will charge anybody that uses a generic filament with a FELONY charge if they find out about it. They don't want to compete on merit. They want to press the jack boot of government down on their user's neck to get every nickle.

    Guess what? A lot of people don't want to deal with these kind of companies.

    Let's talk numbers... I have no idea what the real numbers are, but I would guess 80% of the printers in existence are RepRap printers. Maybe the number is higher. I would also say it is safe to say 85% of the RepRap printers are running Marlin.

    If you want to argue about numbers... The fight is over. The game is over. OPEN SOURCE HAS WON!

    PS. And if the proprietary companies come up with something really good... Guess what? We will reverse engineer it ASAP and our users will get an improved version of the original idea very quickly.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    I use a lot of opensource software and i like the fact that opensource printers can be made dirt cheap in china :-)

    However were i a manufacturer, there is no way in hell I'd build anything opensource. You do all the work and some other bugger comes along, takes your hard work, gets it made in china, undercuts your price and eats into your profits.

    It's pretty much just a matter of perspective.

  4. #4
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    This link works:
    https://3dprint.com/171554/open-sour...closed-source/

    I think for every project there is a balance between what needs to be open and what closed source.
    Certain people want fully open-source hardware, others want a plug-and-play machine.
    Having machines closed-source stimulates innovation towards specific markets and development of new and better systems, while open-sourcing elements of your innovation attracts a community and enables incremental improvements to the system.
    As a developer you don't want to go fully open-source but you also want input from the community, so this is a careful trade-off towards going more and more open-source, together finding optimal solutions.
    Last edited by ralphzoontjens; 04-20-2017 at 02:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    You don't need opensource for input from the community.

    If you release a closed source, propriatary filament fdm machine on the market. inside 6 months someone will have cracked the filament protextion and modded the machine.
    So in that respect it makes sense to not try and protect stuff that's going to be cracked anyway.
    :-)

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    You don't need opensource for input from the community.
    Agreed... But Open Source provides a very good proving ground for new ideas. Anybody can fork the code base and develop their concept. If the idea is good, it can be re-absorbed into the main branch of the tree. If the company is willing to give up some control on what ideas are explored, they get a lot of the early R&D work done by the community.

    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    If you release a closed source, propriatary filament fdm machine on the market. inside 6 months someone will have cracked the filament protextion and modded the machine.
    So in that respect it makes sense to not try and protect stuff that's going to be cracked anyway.
    :-)
    Yes. And this is why Statasys is such an evil company. They don't want to compete on merit. They want to file criminal charges against anybody that uses generic filament in their machine.

    But their answer is not "Don't even try to protect stuff that is going to be cracked in 6 months anyway." Their answer is to double down and file criminal charges against customers of their machines for daring to use somebody else's filament.

  7. #7
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    How can Statasys file criminal charges against anybody that uses generic filament in their machine?

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