Here is a little public service announcement.

Here is a little public service announcement.

Since Smoothieware/Smoothiebaord is Open Source, most people just assume that the derivatives and clones are also Open Source. This is not the case with the MKS Sbase board. It is a closed source clone of the Smoothieboard, and MKS does not give back to the community, or help the Smoothie project in any way. @Arthur_Wolf from the Smoothie project nails it pretty well: “MKS is (also) a cancer that is destroying the smoothie project. Everything people like about MKS, comes from the smoothie project, they did none of it, they are not helping in any way, they are leeches.
It is a closed-source derivative of open-source work, which is going against the wishes of the people who contribute to the smoothie project, it is violating the license, it is pissing on the community and on the work of hundreds of volunteers.”

So the next time you are considering buying an MKS Sbase board, think back on this and ask yourself is it really worth saving some money, but at the same time helping to destroy a product you actually like, and hindering the development of new features and hardware by the SMoothie team.

I will now get down off my soap box and stop pontificating. :wink:

TL:DR = Don’t buy MKS Sbase, they’re thieves…

This might be something the smoothie project should bring to the attention of the FSF… They’ve gone after for-profit license-violators before…

I guess the same be said about AZSMZ… Am I right?

YUp, Azteeg is the only company that is supporting the Smoothie ecosystem by following the licensing conditions, and they kick back a portion of the proceeds to the smoothie project to help further development. +Peter van der Walt does some smoothie variants, but is supporting the community as well.

One thing that compounds this issue is the availability (or lack thereof) and price point of a genuine Smoothie. The availability is somewhat better these days, at least the primary US distributor has resurfaced but the pricing remains an issue.

While US or Euro made clones in low volume likely won’t be able to come close to pricing until the volumes go up. Even then it’s difficult to compete with the offshore pcba houses. It’s a void in the market these kind of vendors fill and until the underlying causes are addressed there isn’t much that can be done.

This market is incredibly price sensitive. to get traction and compete against the MKS the 4 axis board has to be closer to $80. The parts are commodity parts and the boards configs aren’t out of the ordinary. It’s not realistic for the market to absorb the cost difference of two or three times. I empathize with Arthur and Co but the reality is the lack of a lower cost option coupled with limited distribution gives the cloners the incentive they need to populate the channel with product.

This post was reshared on https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/111870450664099533727 It is worth going there and reading the 40+ comments.

@funinthefalls I didn’t read anything that’s different than it is here. Lots of frustration and gnashing of teeth but that’s not going to solve the problem. MKS is the symptom, not the problem. If it wasn’t them it would be someone else.

Truth be told, I bought an MKS board and have been suffering…err working with it… I finally have it operating somewhat properly but not without having to first go through some massive hoops and doing schematic level diags on it… Anyway… I would have much rather bought a real smoothie, but like @dstevens_lv pointed out, they were not available at the time I was ready to buy.
Would I upgrade to an official smoothieboard? Absolutely…
But in the meantime, if I get this one finally dialed in at least I’ll be able to share my findings with the masses… I figure someone’s gotta do it…