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Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

Hi everyone,

I am creating a custom plugin for my ultimaker S3 and I would love to make it widely available to everyone if all goes well. I have a few things I am concerned over if I do choose to make it available to the public. Would appreciate any advice or point me in the right direction as I have trouble finding the terms of use for the software on the machine.

Based on some preliminary research, I will have to make minor changes to the firmware as well as use the Ultimakers APIs.
1. If I distribute the software would I break any licence terms regarding these changes?
2. Am I able to use Ultimaker S3 APIs as part of my plugin?
3. As well, am I able charge for my plugin if I do make it public with the said changes? (What I am looking to do will need an AWS server and the costs will add up especially if many people use it.)

Again any help would be appreciated even if you can point me to the right documentation. I don't want to infringe on anything. Thank you!

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    When I hear "plugin" I think "cura plugin" but this has nothing to do with Cura, right?  It's basically an app that would install onto an S3.

     

    I should warn you that I believe (not 100% certain) that developer mode on the S3 is disabled on the newer versions of the S3 firmware.  Without developer mode there is no ssh/scp access to the printer.  So I'm not sure how you would get this software installed onto the S3 - that may be quite difficult without scp/ssh access.

     

    You might do better to have this app install on the S5 which I don't think has lost developer mode yet.

     

    @ahoeben @robinmdh thoughts?

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    @gr5 Yes, it may have to directly interface with the printer. I would like to add some sensors to the machine.

     

     

    21 hours ago, gr5 said:

    You might do better to have this app install on the S5 which I don't think has lost developer mode yet.

     

    Do you know if they are planning to deprecate dev mode for the s5 and other machines? It may not be worth continuing if it will just stop working one day.

    Any idea about the terms of use regarding developer mode and APIs? I don't want to step on any toes

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    Don't worry about stepping on toes too much.  The support groups hate stuff like this but the rest of the company (most of the company) welcomes 3rd party add ons and such.  Some companies even charge quite a bit of money for add ons.

     

    But you are right to worry about losing the ability to have your plugin installed on S3 and some day maybe S5.  I don't know ultimaker's plans but I wouldn't be surprised if they took the feature away.  Disappointed but not surprised.

     

    There *is* a way to install the software onto an S3 using a microSD card as well.  It requires removing the bottom cover but it's pretty simple otherwise.  You could charge for and ship microsd cards preloaded with the proper S3 software plus your modification.  Same with S5 R2 (release 2).  But this is a harder sell for customers with S5 R1 which has deadly voltages under the cover.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?
    6 hours ago, gr5 said:

    You could charge for and ship microsd cards preloaded with the proper S3 software plus your modification. 

    I am not a lawyer, but I don't think you are legally allowed to sell derivatives of the Ultimaker firmware. I think you won't get into trouble modding the software on your own printer (as long as you don't mind possibly voiding your warranty), but when you start to redistribute modded firmware, you are redistributing (parts of) software you don't have a license to redistribute.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    Good point - so the uSD card that can be put into these printers doesn't have to install all the software.  It could instead just add this guys software.

     

    The computer inside is an Olimex and they have instructions how to create a small copy of the Debian Jessie operating system which boots up the Olimex off your uSD.  Then you typically have scripts that unzip EVERYTHING to install onto the "hard drive" (flash drive) of the Olimex.  It's easy to instead just copy in your code and make changes to the UM code as needed.

     

    The benefit is that now your code will work with future versions of UM Firmware (if UM doesn't change anything critical to you), and it won't change existing parameters like calibration settings.

     

    Still I'm not sure how much customers will be willing to open up the bottom cover, stick in this uSD card, power up, and wait a few minutes for it to update.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?
    46 minutes ago, gr5 said:

    so the uSD card that can be put into these printers doesn't have to install all the software.  It could instead just add this guys software.

    Even that is not as clear-cut as you say, legally speaking. Even a patch will be based on the original software, and may or may not be legal to distribute. But I am still not a lawyer, so by all means ignore what I say and consult the EULA you agreed with when you started using your printer (and a proper lawyer). The firmware is NOT open source, which makes this issue a whole lot less clear-cut than the plugin-situation for Cura.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    You could also show your product to people at Ultimaker and they might just hire you and have you incorporate your software into every printer going forwards.  🙂

     

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    Thanks so much for your input @gr5, @ahoeben

    I just combed through the manual and original documents that came with the machine and I couldn't see a EULA or find anything on the website in regards to the machine and the firmware (I found warranty for the machine and licenses for Cura, but nothing for the firmware). I have an S5 on the way, so maybe they have updated docs with those, but I'm 95% sure there was not an "I accept" button when I first started the machine. I also can't find anything in the menus themselves. 
     

    6 hours ago, gr5 said:

    The computer inside is an Olimex and they have instructions how to create a small copy of the Debian Jessie operating system which boots up the Olimex off your uSD.  Then you typically have scripts that unzip EVERYTHING to install onto the "hard drive" (flash drive) of the Olimex.  It's easy to instead just copy in your code and make changes to the UM code as needed.

     

    6 hours ago, ahoeben said:

    Even a patch will be based on the original software, and may or may not be legal to distribute.


    This is how I had been planning to set up the install, I don't want to modify the ultimaker closed source software if thats not allowed, I can probably just run my stuff alongside it and access the open APIs when needed. Debian is open source, and so is the marlin that runs on the ATMEGA chip, so modifying those should not be an issue. If the UM firmware is based on marlin, it would inherit the GNU GPL v3 licence— that's why I think they understandably offloaded some of the proprietary functionality onto the Olimex. But that also means the firmware itself should be modifiable and redistributable.
     

    I would really like to hear from them before proceeding too far as I understand a lot of work goes into developing IP.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?
    8 hours ago, rman45 said:

    If the UM firmware is based on marlin

     

    Only half of it is. The Ultimaker 3 and newer all have two parts; a printhost running on Linux and a controller running a fork of Marlin. The printhost is written in Python and controls what is shown on the screen, talks to Cura, implements the API, etc.  The Marlin-based part is fairly vestigial. Basically only the Marlin-based controller is open source, so that part is modifiable and redistributable. The license of the rest (the 'Olimex' part) is not so clear.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    Hi @rman45 I'm curious about the changes that are required to make your plugin work. If Ultimaker would implement those for you, we could maybe save you a lot of uncertainties.

     

    I'd also like to know which API you are referring to, that you want to use.

     

    To make absolutely sure; this is not a promise, I'm just curious what would need to be changed where.

     

    By the way: the 'Olimex' part, the software that runs on Debian, is closed source.

     

     

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    Well allowing ssh access to S3 and S5 would help.  🙂

     

    He mentioned he needs to modify the Marlin part of the code.  Much easier to do with ssh access (versus making people insert a uSD which updates only Marlin).  He probably wants to add some more gcodes to Marlin to do something special.

     

    @rman45 - you should talk directly with Ultimaker about your ideas.  Ultimaker people are too busy with their own ideas to steal yours (unless it's something they were already planning to do anyway).  You will be more successful if you trust people not to steal your ideas.  It happens but it's really rare.  If you are a decent programmer then you are someone who is hard to find and better to work with than against (again - they are good people).

     

    More business opportunities are lost by fear of being stolen than are stolen.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?
    On 2/12/2021 at 4:17 PM, gr5 said:

    Well allowing ssh access to S3 and S5 would help.  🙂

     

    If the firewall is off and developer mode is on, it's (still) possible to SSH to the printer. Or do I misunderstand your question?

     

    Marlin is Open Source. AFAIK you're able to request the source. I'm not familiar with the process myself (who to ask/where to request) but I'll ask around. Goes without saying that Ultimaker cannot/no longer provide any guarantees when using a custom Marlin implementation.

    FYI: I'm one of the developers of Ultimaker. Relatively new to the online community, though.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    Coen - I thought ssh to the S3 was disabled in latest firmware.  Maybe I remember wrong.  Maybe confused with um2+c.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    SSH is still possible with the latest firmware on S3 and S5, but you are right, SSH is not possible anymore with the UM2+C,. It was only possible with the pre release firmware.

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    Posted · Ultimaker S3 Plugin license?

    @rman45 and @gr5 Just for the record; I was only querying about the required changes to enable the plugin, not the (code of the ) plugin itself. I maybe was a bit naive in formulating my request :) 

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