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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future software

Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future software

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Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future software

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-Jun-Tue-13-Jun

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Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future software

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-Jun-Tue-13-Jun

I guess if you had asked the owner of a Model T automobile whether there would ever be cars with electric starters, automatic transmissions, computerized fuel injection, and a raft of other conveniences and safety features - the owner of the Model T would have said no, that's not possible. If you could ever build such a thing, it would have so many parts that it would break down before you could back out of your driveway. But here we are now with cars that probably go more miles before their first major service appointment than the Model T did in its entire working lifetime.

So here I sit, babysitting my machine to make sure it's laying down the first layer correctly, checking my filament dimensions six times and taking the average, warming it up before starting a print so I can remove the "ooze" at the last instant before the print starts, lubing the moving parts every few months... and wondering how can this thing ever be as easy to use as a car? So I'm glad we have visionaries in this world like Brook Drumm. And I hope he can achieve his goals. In the meantime, this forum will continue to try to support all who need help with their Printrbot. :)
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
"My next printer is..." Prusa i3 MK3, upgraded to MK3S
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby cacb » 2015-Jun-Tue-14-Jun

Very interesting reply from Brook Drum, thanks for sharing.

I can see his commitment to open source is the same as mine, his reference is even the same I gave in another post :-) I totally agree with the thinking about switching to Cura.

I am not sure I share the vision of trying to super simplify things or make an app that runs in chrome only (I don't even use chrome). As a software engineer myself I think Printrbot should think twice about "becoming a software company", it is a resource demanding thing, and it is very different from making printers. I think 3d printer application development is best handled by the open source community. Printrbot makes great printers and I think the main effort should be on continuing that success.

All in my opinion of course.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby frankv » 2015-Jun-Tue-18-Jun

I agree that it's a great vision for the future.... select a file from Thingiverse, click print, go to your printer to pick it up. But I agree with Jay, we need to live in today's reality. We need to hang on to the tools that keep our model-Ts running.... things like a G-code terminal, for example.

I must admit I currently prefer Cura to Slic3r just because it has a bunch of easy settings... choose "Fast", "Normal", "Fine", or "Ulti" print quality, and it's (almost) all done for you.

I definitely disagree with the run-it-on-the-cloud thing. I have more computing power on my desk than I can use... 4 CPUs that are idle 90% of the time, and (except when I run my own CPU-intensive multi-threaded program) never run all 4 at 100%. Why pay for a resource that is universally available, essentially for free?

To my suspicious mind, cloud-based software is just a monetizing opportunity. "Recommended models for the user to print" is code for "advertising". You'll pay (not necessarily money, perhaps personal information or screen real estate) someone to run a slicer for you, without even knowing what a slicer is. That's fine for people who don't *want* to know, but I think we need a sufficient cohort of skilled, knowledgeable, unconstrained people able to keep software companies honest. Think of Operating Systems, for example. Back in the early 80s, there were several to choose from for the new 8086-based machines. You did need to know how to format a disk, type a command, etc, and only enthusiasts had a computer at home. That all transmogrified into Windows 8 and OSX, where anyone can use it, which is great. Along the way OSes were monetized *very* successfully, and IMHO we would be paying a lot more if it wasn't for altruists like Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. We *need* an open source 3D printer community.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Jun-Tue-18-Jun

The author of Repetier Host decided he needed to eat:

"We tried the open source model for over 2 years. User contributions were very low, so nearly all work was done by us. So we ended working 10 hours a day 7 days a week which we could not spend earning money. In addition other used our work for their profit without sharing it with us. Fortunately not all companies go that way. Quite some printer vendors support us with custom host version and we believe this step will even increase the number of supporters, so we can keep a free host version with new features. The alternative would be to stop developing the host, which would be even more lost to the community."

There's a long discussion . I thought the comments from Daid were kinda snarky, in that he has a full time job and Ultimaker pays him to work on Cura.

Had Brook made some contributions to Repetier Host it might not have been necessary to change the license. It's easy to say you're all for open source when it takes a considerable investment in metal cutting and bending equipment to copy your hardware product, and you're raking in the dollars. Not the same when you're working 70 hours a week for close to nothing, and anybody with a flash drive can copy the product for free. Actually, they still can, the closed source model is so they can produce customized versions for hardware vendors and they still offer a free product.

Repetier Firmware is still FOS (free open source), and will remain that way.

I agree with Frank about the "cloud" (creepy music playing in the background) thing; just another way to say we'll capture your data and make you wait for us to process it for you. The computing power in the Mooselake lab would have been a significant percentage of the whole world's computer cycles when I started...

Kirk

Edit: FOS is free open source, not the "full of" definition, added an explanation. Sorry.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby MileHigh3DII » 2015-Jul-Sat-17-Jul

A 3D printer in every house just isn't going to work. I can't get my wife to be able to use our 2D printer and scanner without a lot of help. You might get it to the table saw stage of adoption- or Cuisinart status- a cool tool that we can use, but usually stays in the cabinet.

I use Cura because Slic3r was causing me serious issues with slicing taking forever. Repetier would crash when I tried to zoom in and out too fast while printing.

My 1st grade daughter loves 3D printing (my robot glue gun) because I make her 'jewelry' out of T-glase and her friends are jealous.

On the cloud issue, I won't use anything that is cloud based. I learned my lesson with Tinker-cad. Not being able to get to my stuff because it is raining in the cloud when I have a time sensitive crunch has made me a firm believer in having things locally. Printing from the cloud sounds even more scary with connectivity issues. Just my thoughts.

Maybe I haven't delved into it very much, but on open source resourcing, does PB have a 'hit list' or punch list of things that they are trying to work out? I'm limited in ability, but I have rudimentary 3D printing skills and I'm willing to tinker. It's amazing how 5-6 hours can disappear while tweaking something to work right.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby cacb » 2015-Jul-Mon-01-Jul

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby thawkins » 2015-Jul-Mon-07-Jul

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby cyborg5 » 2015-Jul-Wed-12-Jul

I share the general distrust of cloud-based systems. I got burned on an Internet-of-things platform called "Pinoccio" that I found it on a crowd source site. They deliver the product but all of the great software they spent time developing was tied to a cloud-based HQ dashboard. Less than a year after the product was released they discontinued support for it and took everything they learned to make a completely different commercial product that was of no use to me. They also quit supporting the old product. It was however all open source and they did give you some rudimentary instructions on how to set up your own cloud server but that was such a steep learning curve for me that I threw the parts of the drawer and haven't touched them since then. Fortunately I only had invested $150 in the project but even more troublesome was the days and weeks I spent limiting to use the products, trying to develop gadgets based on them, and then having the whole infrastructure disappear.

My hopes and prayers are that Printrbot continues to operate and develop great products for many years to come. I've only had my machine three days and I love it already. But if they ever go away, I don't want to be stuck with a $1000 paperweight. I don't think that's going to happen but I learned a really good cautionary tale with the Pinoccio system.

I tried to post a link to my blog article about the Pinoccio experience but as a new user of this forum it would not let me attach a URL. That's okay it wasn't really about 3-D printing. Just my bad experience with a cloud-based system which I've already sort of summarized.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby cacb » 2015-Jul-Fri-08-Jul

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby GreatGrizzly » 2016-Mar-Thu-10-Mar

I am impressed with Brook's vision. We really need a one click and done system for 3d printing. Hackers will never be the mainstream, no matter how much we complain about it. As for cloud based, I dont personally like it much like most of the people here, but that would be a great way towards the click print and done functionality this whole industry needs.

Just recently I noticed my mom is starting having troubles with rotating a knob on her storm door, due to its size I immediately thought to make her a rubberized handle on my prinrbot to help her. I am looking forward to a time where I can make a part in blender or whatever and send it to her so she can print it out and put it on herself.

She would never be able to do that now, I still have to help her with her ipad, after owning it for a year.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby plexus » 2016-Mar-Thu-13-Mar

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Mar-Thu-13-Mar

Well said!

The vision does seem to be at odds with "3D Printing is hard" on every page. I still think they should concentrate more on delivering a reliable consistent product than on devoting valuable employee time to new software. How can you be much easier than downloading a file, plopping it into Cura (or Pronterface and Slic3r, Craftware, Kisslicer, or even the dreaded closed source Repetier-Host plus a slicer if you prefer), and hitting print. Make the magic box so there's no need to constantly fiddle with it, and the software is already here now. Not sure that robot tanks, DIY monster printers, etc. generate sufficient product improvements, or the cash to fund more staff to work on the existing stuff, but maybe that's just me.

Kirk
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby PxT » 2016-Mar-Thu-14-Mar

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Mar-Thu-16-Mar

That's the old, pre 1.0, version which was, and remains, open source. 1.0 and up are not open source. It's the later versions that provoked Brook's move to Cura. Brook could have followed in Ultimaker's footsteps and hired the developer (hard to develop free software when you're broke starving in the street), or at least made a contribution (in effect that's what you're doing when you pay for a branded copy), but they chose to hire somebody and start yet another user interface effort. PB was going to use slic3r for their slicing (like R-H, which allows you to chose between Cura and slic3r), haven't been following it close enough to know if that changed.

I think it would have returned a whole lot more to the FOS movement by funding Repetier-Host instead of spinning off their own efforts and further distracting from their printer developing forte, but I'm just a moose in a (better lit as of today when I installed a couple more recessed lighting cans) tool filled cave.

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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby PxT » 2016-Mar-Thu-16-Mar

Oops, yeah you're right. I guess I should have followed this thread more closely. Going back to lurking now… :)
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby thawkins » 2016-Mar-Fri-02-Mar

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Jonbot+
225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Mar-Fri-10-Mar

I'd attribute their software efforts more to Dunning-Kruger than closed source, but moose, cave.

Kirk
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby thawkins » 2016-Mar-Sat-19-Mar

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Jonbot+
225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
Photon, self designed printed printer.
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Re: Brook's reasons for Cura, and his vision for future soft

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Jul-Sat-16-Jul

I stumbled across this comment from Ultimaker about the recent version of Cura's (non-existent) support for Deltas, . Printrbot doesn't currently make a delta style printer, but it's not to far a stretch to substitute "Printrbot" for "delta" if they make changes that break support for PB's controller or printers. Can't blame them, why put any effort into helping out your competitors?

Heck, it's just open source, read the code and fix it yourself...

Kirk
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