Simply a focus issue. We decided to focus on our machines (which provide us with income, remember that I like to eat as well) on this release.
The lack of a “custom printer” option is simply a new code architecture thing. Definitions of printers has become slightly more complex, but also slightly more capable because of that. Before, the Ultimaker2 support had lots of hacks all in the code. Now this is handled fine in the json file.
Extra machine definitions are placed as json file here:
While it puts a bit more effort initially for other people to produce this file, it does mean the overall quality of these files should go up. Especially with the dependencies, where you can have a single base machine and multiple small differences based of that one.
Why we didn’t add all the older contributed printers? Time&quality. It would take time to check what we need to import exactly, and we have no idea how good those profiles are. We’re stressed out as it is, this was a major undertaking the last 6 months, as all the GUI code has been re-written and quite some engine code has been touched up. Also trained 3 new people on everything that is Cura, as well as the finer points of 3D printing.
Previous versions are (and always will be) available from the Cura page. Or from these locations:
we did open the source months ago, when we started the beta testing stage. Evidence: https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura/issues/6
it’s a “workaround” proposed by us. And once you have a file like that it’s easy to integrate it into the next release as well. Talk about encryption is not only silly, it’s idiotic if you look at the fact that’s still 100% open source code.
One of the new people working on Cura came from the Krita open-source project, was selected for his great GUI programming capabilities, and his trust and focus on OpenSource development.
Github account: https://github.com/awhiemstra
Krita work: http://quickgit.kde.org/?p=calligra.git&a=search&st=author&s=Arjen+Hiemstra
(he even looks like an OpenSource developer: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_400_400/p/2/005/075/16d/1edd5e9.jpg )
Right now, the truth is, I’ve been developing and giving away Cura for years. And we’ve been getting little back for it in terms of contributions. There are different ways to react on this, one would be to close off the wall and say “fuck you all” (kinda what Makerbot did). But we didn’t, instead, we looked at our code, and our code was crap, hard to contribute on, hard to customize or add on. So instead, we make this new code, which is build for a large part on plugins. Giving room for customization, and contributions, or custom packed versions. So on one hand, this new version is a bit of a shock for you guys as the custom printer option is gone. On the other side, it is a version that’s much more open to customization. (For example, just to name a random thing, better Octoprint integration)
So don’t see this as a path to screwing you all, see this as a fresher new start. Yes, the beginning of this road is bumpy, sorry. But sometimes hard things need to be done.
We did however, focused on ourselves first. I’ve always done this. (And this isn’t the first time people are mad at me for changes ) The current RepRap and other printer support is just the result of 3 years of collecting small contributions in the form of extra printer profiles and a few modifications needed from my side.
(Also, the current release does not 100% support our current product range, as dual-extrusion printing isn’t supported yet in this release)
(And finally, 3.5 years I spend building Cura for everyone. 3.5 years you trusted me. Trust me now will ya?)