Josef Průša

Open Hardware meaning

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

So today is the day. I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time now. Some of you may know, some may not, but I started my own RepRap company. It’s called Prusa Research, maybe it is the first open hardware based company in the Czech Republic, but certainly not the first worldwide. There are many companies/projects doing that very well, for example, Arduino (I’m so grateful that thanks to RepRap I can now call Massimo my friend. I started doing hardware because of Arduino), Adafruit, Sparkfun, etc.

RepRap and especially 3D printing is now full of bullshit, this is true. There are so many new companies that are being created these days. Most of the guys haven’t contributed a single thing and yet they call themselves inventors :-( , but enough trolling. I’’ve been in the RepRap community for a very long time by todays standards and helped to spread it a lot. Prusa Mendel is probably the most wide spread 3D printer on the Earth :-) . I do have different position when I want to dive in then others, I have a lot to lose if I do it wrong. Since I applied for my business license (dunno how to call it in english) I thought of a way how to keep myself from doing any bullshit marketing and do it right. Trust me, sometimes it’s very tempting to claim stuff you haven’t done or isn’t true? Like “Hey, my printer can print at 50 micron resolution!” LOL. I designed a bad ass tattoo to help me with that. It’s Open Hardware logo with standard RepRap infill inside. It’s on my right forearm, everyone can see it when I shake their hand, when we meet or sign a deal, it doesn’t matter. It has a great deal of symbolism for me. Open Hardware and RepRap got me where I am. If you are starting with Open Hardware, don’t be afraid to do it right, you can still succeed.

What finally motivated me to write this article is a something very sad that happened today. Makerbot turned closed source, or at least all the signals lead to it. Makerbot was started by one of the RepRap core developers, Zach Smith, Bre Pettis and Adam Mayer. Adrian Bowyer, founder of the RepRap Project, gave them some cash along with others to start. Makerbot is based on RepRap, and they weren’t ashamed about it. That started to change and Makerbot started to distance itself. When I gave talks about RepRap people started to accuse me of ripping off Makerbot. I was like WTF! I even exchanged a few emails with Bre. I still saw Makerbot as a powerful friend on Open Hardware field, as a shield which will get the potential law suits by big 3D print companies sorted out.

Bre was giving keynote last year on Open Hardware Summit, etc etc. Company that shows to others that the Open Source way is possible. Even though I grind my teeth about the PR which make it seem like they invented the thing, see this crap Makerbot invented stepper extruder :-D They even did a nice vid about Open Hardware

Later on they got some $10M of funding. And things started to change in the background. Just recently they did one Open Hardware achievement, with Tangibot, clone of Replicator on Kickstarter (google it if you want to know more) where community totally crashed the clone and prove that they do not need any closed source bullshit to succeed.
But surprise, surprise, we now have a Replicator 2 and it is closed source. Hey look, we took all your improvements you shared on thingiverse, compiled it into one package and closed it for you :-D . Same with MakerWare. (They finally, after several years, stopped using Skeinforge, software done by Brazilian who doesn’t even have a printer :-D )

And you know what is the biggest, sneaky move? Not mentioning it while they announced it. My guess is, that they will mention it when first pre-orders ship out. Which is after OPEN HARDWARE Summit where Bre gives a talk (I wonder about what, lol) and Makerfaire and all magazines writes about them as Open Hardware heroes :-D . That is the sickest move. I had to call their support and ask them directly. I got the answer, that Replicator 2 is closed source. Call them yourself, I wonder if the guys already got instructions to bluff :-D ? +1-347-334-6800
I asked on their facebook page, asked Bre directly and tried to ask some other employees but didn’t get any answer. If it’s Open, why don’t they say it, right?

Open Letter to Bre Pettis.

Hi Bre,
we know each other for some time. I want to ask you about the Replicator 2, and if it’s closed source? If so, then why? I would also love to shoot an interview with you for my RepRap interviews show on youtube, I promise I will be neutral. But you have to explain weird behavior I wrote about in the linked article.

Jo Prusa, RepRap core dev.

EDIT: OMG and look at Looks like I’m going to pull down all my stuff from Thingiverse … I feel very sorry that I have to rant this way, but this makes me really sad!

UPDATE 20.9.2012 9:22 CET

Bre released statement  here Basically saying “We might be open or might be not.” I don’t know how you can already sell stuff to ppl you are not sure about license. I get a big NO from that statement :-(

$streetcred – -;

UPDATE 21.9.2012 10:20 CET

Zachary Smith, one of the Makerbot original founders, published an article about this incident. He is concerned about Makerbot future. Even to the point that he added sad kitty picture to the post!

UPDATE 22.9.2012 7:26 CET

As I’m going deeper, I find more and more interesting stuff. Did you know that Makerbot has patent? Surprise for me too :-|  Automated build platform. Idea pitched year before patenting by Adrian on RepRap blog? Continuous belt production.

Well in the meantime I looked at MakerWare if it can be made to work with older Makerbots. It turned out it is possible and ridiculously simple. Adding support officially would  take minutes. But It seems noone want’s you to see that. Makerbot had to buy commercial Qt license (if they didn’t they are violating Qt license) to be able to make MakerWare closed source. Qt is library for making user interface. I’m starting to think, that closed source is not misinformation but was planned for some time. But this is a speculation and my personal feeling. (UPDATE: Official support should come “soon” according to

Check out my video how to use MakerWare with Thing-o-matic and Cupcake.

Update 24.9.2012 6:18 CET

New statement released by Makerbot. Saying “What was open stays open, new stuff will be close.” Which is what we expected as the worst case. And we were completely right with our predictions.

What enrages me is this statement “Specifically the one that states that “cloning ain’t cool”. The electronics are nearly identical to our original Mighty Board electronics, the extruder is nearly identical to our original Replicator extruder with only minor tweaks to optimize manufacturing of injection molded parts.”

Why? Mighty Board is one board version of Arduino + Ramps + Pololu RepRap electronics. So don’t get angry on someone who did same thing as you. And their super cool extruder is a copycat of UP! Chinese 3D printer I’ve got that even confirmed from one of the employees last year at Makerfaire. Whooops ;-)

We still have no statement on the patent they have on Heated Conveyor Belt  looking very very similar to stuff posted on RepRap blog. 

We still have no statement on the reason why they didn’t announce this information during launch.

We just got bold statements how their printers are the best …


For latest updates, follow me on twitter

Previous RepRap interview with Sound, Slic3r developer!

94 Responses to “Open Hardware meaning”

  1. [...] しかし、伝えられるところでは今度のReplicator 2と、ホストPC用ソフトウェアであるMakerWareは残念なことにクローズド・ソースということで、その姿勢の変化に対して既に一部で批難の声が聞かれる。いずれにしても結果はマーケットが出すということになるのだろう。 [...]

  2. Penang says:

    It’s an open and close case of cheating

    If they developed their Replicator 2 from scratch, clean-room style, they can close-source all they want

    But if they got the idea from an open-source project, make one or two improvement and then close source everything – they are nothing but thieves, and will be treated likewise

    That’s all I need to say

  3. Laird Popkin says:

    To respond to Penang, I don’t think that MBI is taking open source and making it proprietary (“thieves”), in that their MakerWare software includes open source software (Skeinforge, Miracle-Grue, etc.), which is all properly credited and documented, with source on github freely available to all interested parties, so they’re honoring the terms of the FOSS licenses. That being said, it looks like they put a slick, proprietary GUI around the open source software, so they’re giving their customers a much better UI than companies shipping the “generic” software. I would hope that MBI would open source their slick GUI, but if I had to guess it’s could be based on licensed software so they can’t open source the GUI. Or perhaps they decided that they wanted to retain the GUI as a proprietary edge, so while any 3D printer company can use Miracle-Grue, ReplicatorG, skeinforge, etc., MBI’s slick GUI around them can make their product more consumer-friendly, and (again guessing) perhaps the investors insisted that some aspect of the products be proprietary because otherwise a competitor (e.g. HP or Cubify) could legally clone MBI’s products and use their superior marketing and sales channels to crush MBI. As a customer who is an engineer, I’d be happiest if the entire software stack would be open, of course, but I can certainly understand how MBI, as a business, might need to close some elements. And the parts that I need to be open (e.g. so I can tweak them) are still open.

    So yes, it’s more complex than if they were clean open source software and hardware. And who knows, perhaps they’ll open more after it ships.

  4. Rich says:

    Can you post your email exchange with Bre?


  5. mnt says:

    Just deleted all my things on Thingiverse.

    I am currently investigating if i will use githubiverse in the future or if i will just roll my own stuff with nodejs or python.

  6. Traumflug says:

    Honestly, I’m a bit surprised by this sudden hate of MakerBot. Keeping source closed until the first unit is shipping is a practice often seen and seen for a long time in the RepRap-related world. These freeriders which sell copied stuff — I call them copy-shops — exist since day one of a working printer, too.

    So far, one never heard any criticism about that. “It’s all open source, so they can do that!”, “They _did_ open source their design! (well hidden link to a read-only location following)”, “Non-commercial licenses (which try to protect open source against freeriders) are evil!”. That’s what I have in my ears from the last few years.

    What causes this sudden change? Is it this one drop too much, making the already filled glas spilling? Is it because Josef Prusa, now being a commercial, too, has adjusted it’s viewing perspective a bit? I’m not sure.

    What does not surprise me is the ongoing commercialisation of RepRap. This could be seen at least since mendel-parts released Gen6 electronics, a design unneccessarily hard to make for DIYers. And it’ll continue, trade wars included.

  7. Bruce says:

    You posted “OMG look at …. (terms of service)”
    What exactly in there is so OMG?
    (secondly, it would have been easier to go look at it if it had been a link)

  8. RJGII says:

    Here’s the section of the terms I believe he was talking about:

    3.2 License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.

    • Jan Schmidt says:

      As I said to Jo on twitter, I don’t really understand what he’s
      objecting to in the ToS. It seems obvious to me that if you upload an
      object to thingiverse, they have no rights to put it on the website
      unless you grant them some license.

      Combined, clauses 3.2 and 3.3 give you a way to do that which a) lets Thingiverse publically display the object, rendererings, and allow people to make derivatives and whatnot (a non-exclusive license – they’re not taking “ownership” like Jo seems worried about). Simultaneously, by doing it this way, you still get to publish objects that are ‘all rights reserved’, and Thingiverse so other people still have to ask your permission to work with it.

      • Chris says:

        “You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.”
        They can tell everyone they invented your User Content and you’re just pond scum and you’re not allowed to claim otherwise.

        • mooncactus says:

          …and even sell it as a part of a close-source replicator!

        • laird says:

          You took that sentence but ignored the limiting clause that they are asking for those rights solely to allow them to run the Thingiverse service. So they can redistribute the content that you upload to Thingiverse, and they can create thumbnails, etc., but they don’t have the right to tell everyone that they invented your content, or sell your content, or sell printed objects. You guys really need to learn to read a contract before you complain about one.

  9. Mike says:

    Wah wah wah. The community chose to release their code and hardware so others could make use of it. If that hardware/software was released under a licence that doesn’t prevent others from taking it & incorporating it in closed-source projects, then you have nothing to complain about.

    If on the other hand, Makerbot is in violation of the various licenses, then go to the EFF and take them to court.

  10. I just took all my stuff down on Thingiverse. For the time being I will start putting my stuff on my (up til now) unused website.

  11. juan diaz says:

    I too am sadly disappointed in Makerbot, and agree that if they go closed source they are like thieves. Bait and switch is a standard asshole trick.

  12. Bart says:

    I’m a little confused about all this. If the replicator 2 is based on open source designs, doesn’t that mean that it, too, has to be open source?

  13. [...] news comes from [Josef Prusa], creator of what is probably the most widely used 3D printer in the [...]

  14. Tom Kurke says:

    FYI and FWIW only, Section 3.2 (referenced above) has not changed since at least February. I will let others comment on the meaning here – but I read this section to say only that Thingiverse can exercise certain rights with uploaded content in order to allow it to be sold, positioned, produced by the service — the limitation at the end is important, they can exercise these rights “solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services.” I printed the terms when I reviewed all of the ToS for the various services as part of a series of blog posts. This obviously doesn’t address/answer/etc. other issues regarding open source, direction of the products, I am simply clarifying that this Section is not new (nor the language).

  15. fugon says:

    MBI isn’t the first to do this. What about Makergear’s M2?

    Just like MBI, they took the hardware closed source. Didn’t even make the 3D printed parts available, which’d be very handy to modify. And Makergear owes its existence to Reprap, too.

  16. fugon says:

    Oh, yeah, another presenter at the OSHW Summit, and former chair Ayah Bdeir of Littlebits – – is her product really OSHW if the connectors are closed source? Seems that a lot of OSHW heroes are afraid to walk the walk.

  17. justjames says:

    What’s all the fuss about?

    MB2 seems more like a low budget New Dimension then an upscale reprap. Good for them for taking the initiative and making a great, cost conscious 3D printer instead of a hacked together DIY kit.

    You sound like you want all their hard work to get filtered back to you so you can tinker with their product. So what? You put a bunch of effort into something and then put it on the internet for all to see and use… then you’re complaining that someone else went to the trouble of packaging it up into an amazing product? Sounds like sour grapes that you spent your time putting effort into another companies work rather than taking the initiative to start something like this yourself.

  18. schorhr says:

    Isn’t it a little quick to delete everything? Perhaps it can be sorted out. I’d hate to go back and delete everything… It’s probably just a misunderstanding.

  19. Good Business says:

    I found your rant funny, in fact I laugh so much that you got famous from the Prusa mendel which in fact was a copy of loads of other peoples mods compiled into one machine. About the only thing you did yourself was shift the motors up top on Z which is personally vile. Problem with RepRap is its predominantly a community of people with a software background and it shows, there is no open reprap linked company out there with close to decent hardware. Now makerbot has their flashy marketing and what not but I still think their hardware falls short of the price tag of the machine. However they are good at business and realized the open source community is comparatively miniscule compared to the market out there. Hence a PLA only machine targeted at education and a 2x version targeted at business with a support contract. They don’t care about RepRap anymore and about time too it makes good business sense. So suck it up and perhaps its time for RepRap to up their game its not hard what they are doing.

    • josefprusa says:

      Thank you for your opinion :-)

      • Good Business says:

        Didn’t mean to sound so harsh before that was mainly directed at the hardware aspects. I think MB handled the transition from open to closed hardware poorly. However I feel there is a strong case for boycotting thingiverse which ideals should be all about openness and sharing creativity and also questions should be raised about their potential abuse of the skeinforge license.

  20. 65536 says:

    On one hand, I would argue that what Makerbot is doing is very reasonable, and we should not be angry with them. As long as a proprietary derivative of an open source design obeys the license of the original design, it isn’t “theft”; by releasing it under a license that allows closed-source derivatives, you’ve given them permission to do exactly that. This is the push and pull every open source developer feels when deciding to release something under a BSD-like license vs a GPL-like license; more freedom means more users, but some of them may not give back to the community.

    On the other hand, I think Prusa is raising a very important issue, which is that Makerbot seems to no longer share some of the core values of the open hardware community and thus we probably don’t want to depend on them for key infrastructure like collections of open hardware designs. Much like Facebook, changes in user agreements may sacrifice things that are important to the community for the benefit of Makerbot.

    In terms of the license, it makes sense that they need some formal legal permission to share the designs on their web site. Rather than adding a special exception for themselves, however, they could accomplish the same thing by requiring things posted on Thingverse to be covered by a license which allows them to share the design (e.g. Creative Commons, CERN Open Hardware, etc.). This would be a way of protecting their own rights by protecting the rights of the community. I’m not sure why they didn’t take this approach – any ideas?

  21. g.r.r. says:

    First, it strikes me that Marker Bot is doing what is legal within the license.
    As such, I do not see how anybody can gripe about it.

    However, it seems that a few things might be useful and smart.
    1) create a new license for rep-rap and others that are OSH. IOW, make it similar to GPL, not LGPL.
    2) If Enrique does not have a machine, but is doing all of this for everybody, than how come nobody has approached Marker Bot to suggest a freeby for him, or Josef, why have you not sent him one? Or how about putting up a site that will collect money to buy one? He really SHOULD have one.
    3) The license on Thingiverse is interesting. Strikes me that the site should be cloned and a new license put on it.

    • 65536 says:

      Using a more GPL-like license is an excellent suggestion. Rather than creating yet another license, however, it may be useful to use an existing open hardware license such as the CERN open hardware license ( or the TAPR open hardware license (

      There are two main reasons to use an existing license rather than creating a new one. First, having many similar but potentially incompatible licenses leads to headaches when trying to integrate projects that may be under different licenses (see discussions of CDDL and GPL license compatiblilty for projects such as ZFS, for example). Second, creating a new license that is legally sound is a complex endevor probably best left to lawyers (for a good discussion of some of the issues, see John R. Ackermann, Toward Open Source Hardware, 34 U. Dayton L. Rev. 183 (2009),

    • Good Business says:

      Why should Prusa get a machine? People are overstating what he has done for RepRap by a long way interestingly enough the original project team on RepRap all work for businesses that are closed source or semi closed. Oh and skeinforge isn’t even the best free slicer out there neither is slic3r so I don’t know why enrique should get a machine or sound etc anyway enrique has been offered a machine in the past and turned one down saying it will just be a distraction. This whole makerbot thing has blown out of proportion just a few people annoyed because they released something that is well good or at least better than others before it. Oh and the darwin stole a lot of ideas from early strat machines i’ve seen the original darwin and the strat that was used to build it. So the evolution of reprap has roots from a closed source project.

  22. I was thinking the same thing while watching the Replicator 2 lunch video yesterday.
    It made me furious how they just cash on what the reprap community has worked so hard to acheive. The very least they could have done is allow us to use MakeWare even without a Makerbot printer. Even if its closed source, at least it wouldnt feel as tough we have been cheated.

    That been said, I wish you all the luck with your new company, I hope it will be the huge succes you deserve it to be and If you ever need help for anything, just ask.

    • laird says:

      Why obsess over MakerWare – most of the reusable value is in conveyer and Miracle-Grue, etc., which are GPL. MakerWare is just a GUI that calls conveyer which calls everything else. And that software isn’t restricted to the Makerbot hardware, though you might need to build machine-specific config files. And if you really want your own slick GUI, write one!

  23. Imran says:

    It’s not a shame about MakerBot. It’s the Market. I’ve been doing both ethical and business analysis about closed source and open source. From an ethical standpoint, open source and closed source are about equally good/bad. I wrote this article about it in the software world:

    As to business — I also have designed a 3D printer. Mine is strong enough to mill. I’ve made it open source on thingiverse. I debated going closed source on this, both with myself, and with people at a hackerspace. I chose open source, but I may change my mind in the future.

    So, there’s 2 different ideas that came from that debate:
    1. Open source in name only. Lots of 3D printer companies do this — they say they’re open source, but never post their design. Or, if the do post their design, they do it in a format you and I can’t use/read without buying a $3,000 software package. Or their design is something you and I can’t make ourselves — it requires a vertical milling center to actually make the parts, or a special lathe. This is “open source branding”. It’s not really open source, but it brands itself like it is. These companies rake in the money. No one calls them out and people still buy their products. I chose not to do this — my design is truly open source. Everything is in standard format, and you can make everything yourself. So what happened? People openly talk to me about how they plan on ripping off my design and not paying me for the work I did. I presented at a booth at Maker Faire. They’d come up to me and talk to me, and openly tell me they plan on copying and selling my design as their own. When I asked them how they’d do it, since I do own the brand, they’d just say, “Ebay”.

    2. Open Source doesn’t work as a business beyond a certain scale point. Open source, whether hardware or software, might support a single person or a small team. In fact, it seems to enable them. But Game theory shows that it has a natural limit — at some point, people will take your open design and make it cheaper than you can, because of an externality unique to them. Say for example, they own an injection molding plant, or a machine shop, in Vietnam. They now have capital you don’t, and more over, have side revenues.( As in, they make money doing other things ). They can then afford to dump their extra time onto your market, since they only have to recoup marginal costs, while you have to make both marginal and fixed costs. You did all the design work, and you’ll never even break even. That’s fine if it’s a hobby for you. It’s not a sustainable business with employees who expect to get paid beyond a certain scale point. I’ve met people who’ve gone out of business in other robots. It’s exactly what happened to them. More-over, look at Red Hat software. They could never really make a lot of money until they went “pseudo” open source. They no longer distribute Red Hat ISOs. You want Red Hat, you pay for the disk. You can always download/compile yourself, but you can’t give away their thing. What happened as they added a hurdle to open source? Profits, growth, re-investment!

    Even Apple does this. They get kernel work for free with their Open-source version, but they sell Macs…

    So, I don’t want to deny MakerBot their success. They now are on the hook to pay out a lot of money, since they have investment capital. They’re on the hook to pay larger numbers of employees. If they gave away their designs, it would be stolen. It already has been. I already know of people who made their own MakerBot clones and use/sell them commercially — yet never bothered to pay MakerBot for the design. The KickStarter guy got sort-of busted. Sort-of. He could have made money. He got greedy. But some rip-off MakerBot( even putting the MakerBot logo on their bots! ) and just sell on Ebay. I think maybe 50-75% of MakerBot Cupcakes for sale on Ebay are rip-offs now. I have no idea how many TOMs and Replicators are, but I’d wager that at least 15% of them are not official. I think MakerBot did the right thing — they’ve hit the point in their growth cycle where reducing how open they are is required for further growth.

  24. dorkmo says:

    makerbot just tangibotted themselves

  25. dorkmo says:

    if you look at the bottom of their press page you can see that they are already using people’s “open” thingiverse designs to help sell their closed source printer

  26. dorkmo says:

    also i noticed that kickstarter itself has recently changed the technology sub category “open hardware” to simply “hardware”

  27. Zach Fine says:

    All the parts of the thingiverse TOS that people are complaining about have been there since February, and also are qualified by this statement: “…solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services”

    I’m no lawyer, but it seems obvious to me that they have to state that you’re giving them the right to use the content you upload in order to include it in the “site and services”, and that’s all that sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the terms of service are for. They don’t have all those rights to your stuff except for the purpose of displaying the uploaded content on the site and making it available to all.

    The complaint over the Thingiverse TOS seems like a very unfortunate misinterpretation (undoubtedly multiplied by the fact that the Makerbot 2 appears to be closed-source hardware). I hope everyone calms down and keeps uploading, or finds another good centralized way to share objects and plans, as I’ve found Thingiverse (which has not changed) to be a valuable resource.

  28. fox says:

    sure thing…
    everything should be open source, and everyone should rip somebody else work for free.
    would be even better if this OSHW would come for free too.

    if somebody is committing their life to do 3d printer and he is testing it for years and trying to make it better and better. deserve something for it.
    not watching like one asshole with the other one taking his stuff and sell it for millions.
    they invest lots of money and time in research. and they keep spending more and more.
    its time to have something back.
    funny thing is that i was looking closely on the rep rap evolution. and i have to say that this open source version was crappy pain on the ass, to work with.
    quality .. well… not this what im looking for…
    what the hell, i will say it , it was crap anyway.

    now when they came up with this new version. im considering getting one.
    looks like machine, not amateur piece of something what will fall apart while printing.

    has bigger printing area

    no more problems with heating plate, and all the issues coming with it.

    better resolution

    which finally might be acceptable.

    and what ? cost a bit more?
    so what
    you are getting way more bang per buck than on the old one.
    and finally something what you can use out of the box.
    and not spend hours tweaking this bloody thing.
    i have my own projects on which i would like to work not spending hours trying to print something and a the end spending more time making this bloody printer working than i have spent on main project.

    i have been there. got CNC router, which i had to rebuild from scratch. because all electronics, cables, etc was crap and it even wasn’t working since the beginning.

    sincerely i wish all the best for new rep rap, and those guys working on it.
    they have done grate work. and im sure that now they will keep building better and better printers.
    and they will be still affordable.


  29. Njmalhq says:

    Those who forget history are bound to repeat it. Apple and Microsoft didn’t just become what they’ve become overnight. I am not talking about their “success” but their cut throat character. They too weren’t quite the entirely self-supported innovators that they make themselves out to be, building instead on the proverbial shoulders of unpaid giants who preceded them. I guess the ultimate lesson is that, as usual, dancing with capitalism doesn’t change capitalism. It changes you.

  30. fox says:

    socialism is so cool, everybody work for free and for greater good.
    i wish everybody to quit their job and do they own awesome projects for free and for greater good.
    wondering what you will put on you plate, when you gonna be hungry.

  31. [...] me open source or give me death” charge with an Occupy Thingiverse Test Cube and an open letter to Bre/Makerbot. What finally motivated me to write this article is a something very sad that [...]

  32. Matt Maier says:

    It’s the open hardware world’s first scandal!!! I guess that means we really are growing up.

    In seriousness, I don’t see how Makerbot can possibly hurt the open hardware community by being successful. Open is a world defined by change and outlined by entrances and exits. If something that is inextricably linked to open source is successful then the philosophy and the community are successful. If they leave, they won’t be able to get the aroma of open off of themselves, and the perfume will bring in 10 new people.

    Sure, it’s irritating that they would respond to the community with corporate mumbo-jumbo, it’s par for the course.

    Just keep in mind that if they DO go totally closed, not that I think they will, but if they DO, then they’ll just get left behind as the open hardware community out-innovates them. Staying at least a little bit open is the only way for them to stay relevant.

  33. [...] Josef writes: “The fact that the legal ramifications of MakerBot’s TOS weren’t discovered until today doesn’t magically give them a free pass. The fact that they don’t intend (today) to exercise the rights they’ve granted themselves also doesn’t magically give them a free pass. Companies change – take a look at their stance on Open Source Hardware.” Also Replicator 2 is Closed Source, at least everything looks like it and guy on Makerbot support phone told me so. Check out my open letter to Bre Pettis here [...]

  34. [...] 2012 - Blog posting about the Replicator II being closed source, later added TOS change by Josef Prusa [...]

  35. [...] 2012 - Blog posting about the Replicator II being closed source, later added TOS change by Josef Prusa [...]

  36. JoannaK says:

    Hello.. I tried to post this as a comment to your occypy-post at Thingiverse, but for some reason the disquss-system they use seems to want reject my postings alltogether.

    – Joanna

    “For the feasible solution I’d recommend Makerbot-inc to release their corporation-hold of thingiverse if they can’t uphold the sprit and legal aspects of open source any longer. It’s obvious that the VC:s are calling the shots and original people behind the company are either thown out or bough into submisson with plenty of $$$ ..

    In the end I belive that one shared Opensouce based respositery will be good for all. And Makerbot can still release theor parts/designs like others. This way they will get all the goodwill they can, and I’m sure they will get their fair share of trafic and attention. “

  37. Whats-the-fuss says:

    Wow! There’s a lot of fuss for a TOS that hasn’t changed in months that merely grants Thingaverse/Makerbot a license to share people’s designs and allow others to modify them – ask a Law expert. Also, if you are all so “Open” why do you care if someone else modifies your design?

    If you want them to change the wording in the TOS that basically grants them the same type of license but makes you feel better about owning your design then open a dialog with them but all of this trolling and ranting is ridiculous.

    Makerbot is a business and business tend to want to be cash flow positive, and investors get to call a lot of the shots about how the company they have invested in does business.

    WAH, WAH, so their GUI is closed source. So what if it is? So what if their current hardware designs are closed source too. Get over it, grow up. It’s reality. It’s how businesses grow and thrive and make things they can call their own. Sure it grew out of the great open source community which thrives creativity and free ideas for all. However, Makerbot has done much more to make 3D printing a reality for the general public than just about any other company. Schools or small companies don’t have the time or money to invest in a printer that they have to tinker with for months to get working. They want it to work when they buy it and do what it says it will do. Makerbot’s new printers are a move to supporting those communities. Think of all of the new designs and ideas that can come out of high schools and small colleges who may purchase their new printers because they now come in a format that they can rely on? These same people/students will love and join the open source communities that are out there and contribute to them -even though they may be using a some what closed source printer.

  38. drd says:

    In regards to the patent. I cant believe there is no prior art for this, I would have thought there must be hundreds of automatic production lines for polymer products…oh well another proof that the US patent system is fubar.

    In re the dates in the patent file there are several mentions of documents which appear to be before the RepRap blog entry you mention. See under Other References.

  39. bubbapizza says:

    Duhhh, you guys are all bitching about licensing. This is old news. If the original makerbot hardware designs were relased under a GPL-like license, it’s *illegal* to close the design. If they were released under a BSD-license, they can do whatever the hell they want with it.
    That’s how Microsoft got their original TCP/IP stack in windows way back in the 90′s. They took, or “stole”, the TCP/IP code from BSD, closed it, made changes and sold it as part of windows.
    GPL-like licenses are the ONLY ones that legally *force* designs to stay open.

    • laird says:

      Note that the BSD guys wanted people to use their code, and are (when I spoke with them years ago) were thrilled that MS adopted their code because it resulted in millions of people using TCP/IP and a stack that worked well instead of proprietary protocols, etc. So MS was using their code as they wanted it used, which is hardly stealing. MS did take it closed, but that was something that the BSD guys felt they needed to allow in order to encourage broad adoption. And since their code is used nearly universally, perhaps they were right.

      • bubbapizza says:

        Interesting. I never heard what their perspective was before.
        You are absolutely right though – it’s not stealing whatsoever. It’s 100% legal take BSD-style designs and close them. The people above have no right to bitch about “stealing” BSD-type designs.
        Now, if a design was licensed under a GPL-type license THEN you have a right to bitch because it’s *illegal* to not release changes.

  40. [...] Bre Pettis regarding this topic, and more specificaly, read the comments after it as well as the post by Josef Prusa, core developper of RepRap. The following reply of Adrian Bowyer to Bre [...]

  41. [...] his own post, and over email, Prusa remains skeptical. So does Zach “Hoeken” Smith. Smith is also a [...]

  42. [...] his own post, and over email, Prusa remains skeptical. So does Zach “Hoeken” Smith. Smith is also a [...]

  43. [...] his own post and over e-mail, Prusa remains skeptical. So does Zach “Hoeken” Smith. Smith is also a [...]

  44. [...] his own post, and over email, Prusa remains skeptical. So does Zach “Hoeken” Smith. Smith is also a member [...]

  45. [...] his own post and over e-mail, Prusa remains skeptical. So does Zach “Hoeken” Smith. Smith is also a [...]

  46. [...] his own post and over e-mail, Prusa remains skeptical. So does Zach “Hoeken” Smith. Smith is also a [...]

  47. [...] Mendel i3 (at the top). This was made by Josef Prusa, a core developer for the RepRap project and an outspoken advocate for open hardware.Here we have the Rostock delta robot 3D printer. It uses three sets of long arms [...]

  48. [...] Josef Prusa is famous for his dedication to the openness of Desktop 3D Printing, his post, “Open Hardware Meaning” and his Occupy Thingiverse, in late 2012 when we all discovered that the newest Makerbot, the [...]

  49. decentralize says:

    2 misconceptions that recur throughout the comments:

    * “if you dont want people to redistribute without releasing the (original if unmodified or new if modified) source (design) files you should have protected RepRap with GPL” … but it IS :
    In my view this is violation of RepRap license…

    * “the sole purpouse of the specific phrasing of ToU is such that they can legally share your design with other people who look up things on thingiverse” if this was the case they would give as many rights to the users of thingiverse as they demand from the users.

    This is clearly not the case: What the user gets is:
    2.1 License. Subject to these Terms of Use, Company grants you a non-transferable, non-exclusive, license to use the Site and Services for your personal, noncommercial use.

    What the user gives is:
    3.2 License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.

    So what users get is the right to use designs without making money (personal, noncommercial user)
    What MakerBot and its partners and affiliates get is right to use designs for making money.
    The assymetry is the fundament of a bad designsharing license. A design sharing license that is supposed to build community should never centralize / desymmetrize rights by entitling specific entities and its cohort of affiliates, even if the entity is the platform (thingiverse). To see no harm in such a license is akin to seeing no harm in changing the GPL such that everybody is equal under GPL, except a specific big platform for example Huawei (largest telecom platform in the world), and making an exception that Huawei can modify GPL projects (say Linux) and redistribute and even sell them without distributing its sources. There is a reason that GPL does not reference Huawei, and similarly a designsharing license should not assign Make-a-billion the right to sell while restricting this right from its users…

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  51. [...] The only sad thing overall is that some people are trying to leverage the interest in 3D printing technologies to make a lot of money by selling crappy printers. The number of 3D printer crowdfunding attempts which were started on Kickstarter is just unbelievable, often promising things that cannot be achieved with the technology they are using (like printing super huge objects which are not hollow without a proper heating chamber) or just trying to sell existing designs at crazy prices. It’s also sad how Makerbot is getting all the good press while at the same time they are going further and further away from the open source approach, but that’s another story. [...]

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  60. Jose Xavier says:

    About Qt you only need to share your code if you change the Qt source.

  61. Sebastian says:

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  62. [...] a less open model.  This shift caused a huge uproar in the RepRap community, angering people like Josef Průša, of the Prusa Mendel RepRap – who went so far as to start an Occupy Thingiverse movement [...]

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  64. Mike says:

    Hello Joseph,
    I’m actually thinking about à new plateforme to show and see 3d printing creation.
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    Mike (Montreal)

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