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cjs

Release of the Ultimaker 3 firmware source code

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I quite like my Ultimaker 3, but I also think there is still some space to improve some things and I believe the hardware foundation is good and improvements can be done by software. 

Sadly the firmware of the Ultimaker isn't open source right now and the community/users can't (it's quite difficult) actively help to find and solve bugs or add new functionality or improve the user interface. 

Yes there are a few developers on this forum, which are happy to help and guide you to some files on the UM3 to change some settings. This is really kind of them, but I don't believe it's the right way as information gets scattered on the forum and the users rely on the UM staff/devs for information. 

At the release of the UM3 it was said that the files will be published after a year. The files for the machine were published but the firmware source code wasn't. 

From time to time I read that the firmware will be published at some point but no specifics are made and it seems like the date is pushed back and back.  

Therefore I wanted to ask Ultimaker if the firmware will be published at some point? Whats keeping Ultimaker from publishing it? Hasn't Ultimaker profited from publishing the source code and working together with the community/ users? 

Cheers! 

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I wish I could tell you "yes and a date". But that's not the case right now. In parts of the company there is still a heavy discussion going on on this topic. On all points (if, what, when, how, where). And the discussion is slow, due to it having low priority for most people that actually have a big say in this.

 

Most of the printer logic itself is actually accessible already on the printer trough ssh, as it is python. So you could already patch that and send us fixes. Except for the display code, which is compiled C++, and to be honest, a mess. Combine that with the very few patches we got from the community for the Ultimaker 2, it's really hard to sell this.

There is also a general difference in view on how certain parts should work. Engineers generally want more features, more options, more things to play with. However, a large part of our use base isn't engineers at all. So quite a few patches, while valid, we wouldn't merge, as they do not match our view (for the UM2, this is clear with the differences between the Tinker firmware and our firmware)

 

Some parts are already open, like the kernel, u-boot, connman and a bunch of other things. Even the easter-egg code is published somewhere, if you know where to look (I got no pull request for that :( ). For Marlin, we have the issue that our repo has a lot of secret branches, and commit messages that referrer to secret things. But if anyone wants a copy of that source, we will share any release state. But we cannot open the repo till all those secret projects are purged or released.

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Thank you @Daid for the detailed answer even though the answer is not what I would have liked to hear! 

I’m quite happy to hear that there are still people like you (and probably more) at Ultimaker who believe in open source. It’s sad to hear that people who have a big say don’t believe in it that much. 

 

I think for university’s it’s quite important that the printer is open source. I just recently visited an institute at my university and they said the printer they bought is really good and useful, but they can’t do all the research due to it being a closed system. 

The Tinker firmware is actually a good example IMHO. The engineers and tinkeres created their own firmware and Ultimaker therefore can serve this category as well. 

A bit off topic: At my local Makerspace we are going to switch to Tinker firmware soonish. Mainly because of the screen sleep feature, which I would love to see merged by ultimaker, as our oled screens do show some burn in after 1000+ hours of prints. 

 

Regarding patches I believe the most important thing is the documentation. A good documentation eases the start. The harder it is to start the fewer people will help or have the time to help. Problem is probably that writing such a documentation takes a good amount of time which could be used for new features. 

 

I got to admit that I’m not a programmer by trade. I’m a mechatronics student. We for sure do some programming, but not all the time and studying can be time intensive from time to time :/ Therefore I can’t for sure say that I would send pull request for patches if the source code was open.

 

Is there an easy ssh command to pull all the Ultimaker python files from the printer? 

 

As you mentioned the open source decision won’t be made in the near future but maybe some of the following ideas for community involvement can be made. 

  • an open bug list to allow us to see that you know about the problem and possibly work on a fix 
  • some specific place which gets visited by the developers to talk about user interface improvements and new features. Currently I think the ideas do get lost in this forum.  

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8 minutes ago, cjs said:

I’m quite happy to hear that there are still people like you (and probably more) at Ultimaker who believe in open source. It’s sad to hear that people who have a big say don’t believe in it that much.

I didn't say those 2 things. I didn't say that I believe in open source (but I guess my past actions speak for me), and I didn't say that the people who have a big say don't believe in it. I only said it's not high on the priority list to solve. I didn't even say that I'm not one of the people that has a big say in it ;-)

 

As for tinkering with machines, the UM2 is much more suited for that. We use it for that at the office as well quite often. It's a much simpler machine with much less to go wrong. And a lot easier firmware. So I would actually recommend the UM2+ as hacking platform instead of the UM3.

 

Quote

Problem is probably that writing such a documentation takes a good amount of time which could be used for new features. 

This, we have a few bits and pieces of documentation. But nothing that is near the level that you would expect to have when you want to roll fresh into the code.

 

 

As for ssh into the printer, you'll have to turn on developer mode. And then you can login with ssh as root, you can guess the password. Note that the UM3 is open for your whole network then, so that is a security risk.

 

(As for the burned in screens, I've seen it on the UM2. I haven't seen it on the UM3 yet, which dims the screen when it's not in use)

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5 minutes ago, Daid said:

I didn't say those 2 things. I didn't say that I believe in open source (but I guess my past actions speak for me), and I didn't say that the people who have a big say don't believe in it. I only said it's not high on the priority list to solve. I didn't even say that I'm not one of the people that has a big say in it ;-)

Not a native english speaker therefore my wording may have been not the best. From the outside it sounds like people are divided regarding releasing files otherwise it would have been done already. 

Yes I only heared and read good things about you ;-) 

 

22 minutes ago, Daid said:

As for tinkering with machines, the UM2 is much more suited for that. We use it for that at the office as well quite often. It's a much simpler machine with much less to go wrong. And a lot easier firmware. So I would actually recommend the UM2+ as hacking platform instead of the UM3.

Yes you are right, but I can't use the UM2 to precisely tune filaments for the UM3 for example (Print core behaves different then Olsson block) . The firmware of the UM2+ may be easier but the Atmega 1280 hasn't really got much room for experiments. (Pressure Advance or S-Shape acceleration). The UM2 hasn't got rgb leds in the printhead to color quote what it's doing. (Heating up being at idle temperature cooling down)

 

Are all the files I need stored in the griffin folder or do I need to look somewhere else?

 

32 minutes ago, Daid said:

(As for the burned in screens, I've seen it on the UM2. I haven't seen it on the UM3 yet, which dims the screen when it's not in use)

I didn't say that the UM3 has such a problem. I only said that two of three UM2 machines show burn in and those screens ain't no cheap. 

 

What's the best place to post ideas and bugs/annoying behavior? This forum?  

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