3D Printing Needs Open Source More Than Ever

I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the cllckbait video that this blurb references. But yeah, open source in 3D Printing is why we have all the nice things right now, and going back to proprietary, patent-encumbered nonsense without a fight seems short-sighted.


I lost a bit of faith in Tom when he went off and tried to pick up CAD without any tutorials or anything and rated FreeCAD poorly because he couldn’t figure it out. I saw his rant on open source and he’s way off the mark. I wrote a long response but deleted it.

I have to look up what’s up with Bambu 3D printers and company. A friend just bought one instead of a Prusa MK4 because Bambu had features Prusa has been promising for a few months what is Bambu running for firmware, not sure if it’s opensource or not yet. Bambu is specifically targetting Prusa market so it’s pissing people off. I’ve not dug into it yet, just what I have from glossing over discussions.


Not related to 3D printing directly, but as one of the developers on UGS and a collaborator with FluidNC, I can say that FOSS isn’t going anywhere. It is simply too much fun! :wink:

Sure, there are times when things feels sour. Like when some random user buys a cheap chinese controller and expects a non profit OSS project to support it. Or when you see a CNC machine manufacturer sell their machines together with our software without any credits, recognition or compensation.

I try to step back and remember that I was never expecting to get anything in return when I started contributing. My code is being used by hundreds (maybe thousands) of people every day. My work might not be cutting edge, best quality or user friendly. But it is an alternative, it is available and it always will be.


They tried to get away with keeping their changes to PrusaSlicer proprietary until people raised a stink about the license violation. They say you can email them for the source code to things like the Linux kernel (oh. awesome) but that their firmware is a 100% rewrite. I don’t know if anyone has RE’d it to look for license violations.

I’m annoyed by Creality basically saying that they are breaking the license for Klipper for the K1 series, but Klipper is in Python and they at least used the word “yet” so there’s some hope that when they actually ship the printers they will also ship their source code changes. It’s weird seeing the possibility that Creality might do better for open source than another 3D printer manufacturer!


I pondered for a while, and unsubscribed to Thomas Sanladerer’s Youtube channel. The clickbait title was just too destructive to keep feeding the algorithm.


Have you tried it and what do you think?

When I started 3D printing, 2014, I built a supersized Kossel and had problems due to temperature related thermal expansion differences between aluminum and PLA but didn’t know it. I dug into what slicing was about and tried all available at the time and settled on Slic3r because of access to so many settings. Switched to Prusa Slic3r for variable layer height and then Prusa Slicer. Big fan of Prusa the man and the company.

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Was leading consumer software businesses with dev teams at the advent of OSS. I haven’t had my hands in it much since.

It’s tough to make money offering consumer software with no underlying hardware enabler or vice versa. The hardware is no panacea either but that is another rant. It can work if the source of income is captured as a pair. As soon as the software is parted from the hardware (made free) it’s hard to make money in consumer markets.

But do these projects expect to make money or are they really a way for DIYers to develop technical capabilities that money-making corporations are not willing to invest in?

on soapbox()
Having spent significant time aiding the growing-up of the K40 and surrounding ecosystem I watched with disdain as Smoothie was attacked by cheaper Chinese clones. These manufacturers provided support indirectly through early members of this forum and others like it, including the Smoothie team.

For a while, I decided to avoid helping anyone that had a Smoothie clone that was violating its license but all that did was hurt the uninformed user that bought into the notion that a K40 was a cheap alternative.

I don’t know what the Smoothie business model was/is but most do not realize that the firmware for complex hardware offerings is expensive to develop and support.

The best I can tell there is little actual enforcement of OSS licenses in the consumer space. This seems especially true for entities that blatantly ignore licensing and ship hardware clones worldwide without firmware. Note these same manufacturers ignore safety standards. Standards that local companies have to meet.

Case in point. I have not found a laser diode machine that uses truly open-licensed firmware and hardware. This ecosystem is evolving using the conventional “proprietary” model.

License enforcement is not customer regulated as customers buy the cheapest clone ignoring the licensing violations and expecting support from communities like us.

I think this is where you end up if you look at the consumer OSS market realistically!


Lots of hardware we take for granted is available to us DIYers and SMBs because of RepRap and more specific, RepRap firmware. Without the effort which went into 8bit 3DP firmware the hardware would have made 3DP too expensive but it was this OSS model which caused the 3DP firmware field to expand and that firmware easily translated to the open-loop stepper motor based K40 and a plethora of DIY CNC/router machines and later diode laser machines.

Love or hate OSS, our digital world exists as it does BECAUSE OSS exists and it would not be even close to what it is today without it. To put it another way, society grows on the shoulders of those who shared their knowledge before them. Accademia started “open source” hundreds of years ago and it was only the advent of computer hardware and the software to control it that we got OSS. How to profit from the works of others is another tangent but you can try to do it being only a ‘taker’ or as a ‘giver’ but generally the licenses require you can be a ‘taker’ only if you show your cards.


I have only taken a look at it but have yet to actually use it. I found it watching this YouTube video;

Huh. If I read this right, it’s blending BambuSlicer with SuperSlicer, and SuperSlicer itself I think keeps up with PrusaSlicer.

Things here that look interesting to me:

  • Infill anchors. Printing at high speed, I do get blobbing from infill that doesn’t anchor well. I’ve had layer shifts and Big Black Blobs incorporated in prints for this reason. Maybe Prusa printers don’t print fast enough for this to be a problem?
  • Klipper support; I’m not sure what they mean by that since I’m already printing with Klipper, but sounds good I guess?
  • I’d love to see what they have in their profile for the SK Tank that I own…
  • Sandwich mode
  • Precise wall

If it does incorporate SuperSlicer as well, I wonder whether it has the SuperSlicer internal diameter adjustment feature that makes it possible to model dimensionally-accurate holes instead of having to model oversize holes.

Sadly, they don’t provide Linux AppImage releases. :frowning:

  • Ubuntu
    • run BuildLinux.sh -udisr

I noticed they say “Ubuntu” not “Linux” and I don’t run Ubuntu.


the release files for Linux are zip files of an AppImage file. Have you tried it?

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No, I had no idea that the archive contained an AppImage. I’m not used to hiding the AppImage that way, usually it’s a .gz or bare download. Thanks!


Yes, that clickbait. :rage:



Hackaday has jumped in on this issue;


That “yet” pretty much only happened because Naomi Wu mashed a point of badgering them about it. Unfortunately even she is tired of the whole affair.

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