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Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?


rachael7

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Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

So I just installed the latest firmware, version 8.1.0, on my S5 R2. The firmware seems to have some nice improvements and the release notes list a lot of bug fixes, so that is all good news.  On the flip side though, it seems to be missing a lot of things we used to have, particularly in the Management Console and App, including:

 

1. No more reports, including material usage, completion rates, etc.

2. No more deep job history, only the last few jobs in the recent list.

3. No more maintenance information/reminders.

4. We can no longer reprint jobs from the history!

 

There may be more, that's just what I've seen in the first few hours with the firmware. Why were all these useful features taken out? Can we have them back, please?

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Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

It sounds like you were on a much older build of firmware before you updated?

Everything you described was removed back in I think 7.0.3? which was released April 2022

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    3 minutes ago, Dustin said:

    It sounds like you were on a much older build of firmware before you updated?

    Everything you described was removed back in I think 7.0.3? which was released April 2022

    Nope, I was on the latest channel, running whatever the last version was. 7.1.3, I think? I'm absolutely certain that was the case because I've been trying to diagnose some mysterious problems with Fbrc8, and at their instruction, I downgraded the firmware, tested some, and then ended up upgrading it back to current again. I know those features were there before I ran the 8.1.0 upgrade, because I watched them disappear from my Management Console when the page refreshed. Were they not supposed to be there? Either way, if they were removed before now, I'd still like to understand why - they were all very useful features! Thanks for your time.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    I just double checked the internal notes on the firmware 8.1.0 and 8.0 (8.0 is S7 only)
    The only noted change was that "grouping" was removed in 8.1.0 which was already no longer support for quite some time now.. 

    The management console changes were removed technically 7.0.2 .. The functionality was moved to our Digital Factory cloud platform. Most of the functions are still there but you need to use the api to access the information.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    I wasn't using grouping, but it seemed logical that those features were removed with the removal of grouping. They were definitely still there in 7.x firmware versions - like I said, I was literally using them yesterday and watched them disappear after the 8.1 firmware was installed. Unless my machine somehow managed to retain features from old firmware despite being upgraded (seems implausible to me), you are simply incorrect about when they were removed. Whatever your internal notes say, I literally just watched this happen. My management console had four tabs yesterday morning; after the firmware upgrade and reloading the management console, there are only two tabs. One of those tabs was related to groups btw, further supporting the fact that those features were removed with this upgrade.

     

    As for the API, you are also incorrect that most of those functions are there. In actuality, none of those functions are fully available through the API. There is job history in the API and it does have a bit more information than is available in the management console, but that is the only one of the four I listed that could be considered to be there in any capacity. The history available through the API is still not equivalent to what used to be in the management console and is far more difficult to use, but at least it is there. It is the only one though. There is no replacement for the material usage reports, job completion rate reports, or other reports that used to be on that page. There is no information about maintenance status available through the API. And I sure don't see a way to send a print job from the history list back into the print queue again.

     

    These were all really useful (and used!) features that should not have been removed. My machine is in daily use and I depended on all those features. I mean no disrespect, but if you'd spent any significant time using the machine in a production environment, you would know how important those features were and you would definitely know when they were removed.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    I also don't like that everything was moved to the digital factory when I updated to 8.1.0.0. Maintenance can no longer be done via app, which I liked. I don't like the trend of connecting all functions to the internet. I still want to have a full local web server. So I agree 100% with rachael7

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    Posted (edited) · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    1 hour ago, Jonas98 said:

    I also don't like that everything was moved to the digital factory when I updated to 8.1.0.0. Maintenance can no longer be done via app, which I liked. I don't like the trend of connecting all functions to the internet. I still want to have a full local web server. So I agree 100% with rachael7


    Couldn’t agree more. I don’t mind the Digital Factory architecture if I was allowed to run that server locally. I would happily install a DF server on our local network server machine if that were an option. But being dependent on someone else’s servers to keep my machine running is just unacceptable. Also, DF requires sending the camera feed offsite and back, which slows down the video frame rate so much it renders the video feed near useless. I run a lot of multi-day prints, so effective remote monitoring is essential. With the machine local, I can VPN into the office network and get good streaming video. When I tried it on DF, it was more like a still frame every second or two. 

    Edited by rachael7
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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    So it looks like I was wrong on this, though I had not noticed the change on my S5 oddly?🤔
    But I do see the change now as well on mine.

    I just got out of a meeting on this topic and it appears there was a break down in communication on this change.
    The changes did occur, however they were rolled into the 8.0 update which was S7 only which is part of why the release notes were missed for this change.

    The release notes have been updated here: https://support.makerbot.com/s/article/1667410781982

    Quote

    Removed functionalities

    In firmware version 8.1, the Local Management Console (accessible via the printer's local IP address) was downscoped and the following functionalities were removed:

    • Usage analytics
    • Printer grouping and clustering
    • Print history
    • Reprint from history
    • Maintenance information
    • Notifications

    Most of the functionalities listed above are available in the UltiMaker Digital Factory.


    I understand why you would be upset with the dependency on our Cloud environment and have forwarded your feedback to the Digital Factory Development Team. But unfortunately that is the extent of what I can do about it. 😥

     

     

    1 hour ago, rachael7 said:

    When I tried it on DF, it was more like a still frame every second or two. 

    Its actually every 10 seconds that the frame is refreshed. The original scope of this feature on Digital Factory was for status monitoring/checking if there was a print still on the build plate after the print completed, etc... It was not originally planned for live monitoring. The Development Team is aware of the desire for live monitoring and are looking in to it, but I don't currently know of any possible ETA for that functionality to be added. 

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    I would like to add on to the list of people missing those features after the update. The management console was so useful and I liked the clusters. The downgrade of being unable to live monitor the camera from cura when connected to digital factory is also annoying.

     

    I will add a positive that maybe was possible before but didn't ever find how to do it. If a print is aborted I can select a different printer than the one that was originally sent to for the reprint.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    2 hours ago, Dustin said:

    I just got out of a meeting on this topic and it appears there was a break down in communication on this change.
    The changes did occur, however they were rolled into the 8.0 update which was S7 only which is part of why the release notes were missed for this change.

    The release notes have been updated here: https://support.makerbot.com/s/article/1667410781982

     

    Thanks for checking into this further Dustin, I appreciate the effort and the correction. That communications breakdown really puts me in a tough spot though, since I would most likely not have upgraded the firmware had that information been in the original release notes, especially considering the statement that it is a one way upgrade, with no possibility to downgrade again. Is that part of the release notes accurate? Is there really no way to downgrade my firmware back to the previous 7.x version now?

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    You can still downgrade, BUT that requires a firmware recovery down to 7.1.3 - which will delete any historical data on the machine.

    Unfortunately active leveling should be considerably better in 8.1.0 if that was a issue you ever faced.
    This Bug fix note impacted issues with Active Leveling on some machines.

    Quote
    • Fan noise. Fixed the situation whereby the print head fans were turned off but still kept making electronic noise.

     

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    3 minutes ago, Dustin said:

    You can still downgrade, BUT that requires a firmware recovery down to 7.1.3 - which will delete any historical data on the machine.

     

    Thanks again, Dustin. As near as I can tell, the upgrade to 8.1.0 already wiped out all the historical data. The only things I can see that were retained were the print core offsets and the network information. Both of those are easy enough to recover, and I wasn't having an issue with active leveling or fan noise; so I'm not seeing a lot of downside to the firmware recovery. If it wipes the machine deeper, it might even help solve my mysterious issues (Air Manager dropout and screen freezes). Can you provide instructions on where to get 7.1.3 and how to do the recovery? Thanks.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    Steps and recovery image can be found here:
    https://support.makerbot.com/s/article/1877434822572

    Very much recommend reading thru all of it before attempting.. it accounts for a few possible hardware revisions and models so make sure you follow the process that applies to your specific machine. 
     

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    Thank you, much appreciated.

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    Posted (edited) · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    First of all, thanks to Dustin for taking constructive note of our feedback. Finally, I would like to say that I always find it problematic to simply remove features from an industrial device. (Especially without explicitly pointing it out for people to think about) Sometimes whole processes are adapted to this. For example, instructions are created, etc. For me personally, for example, it is also important to be independent of third party services when needed. As long as everything works, everything is good..but if, for example, the Ultimaker server goes down, nothing works. (Except for USB printing). I'm not complaining here, but pointing out that especially in the industry such things have to be seen from a different perspective than, for example, in the private 3D printer sector. Therefore, my opinion: Additions are of course desirable, deletions of functionality I see very critical because this can cause a lot of effort and conversions.

     

    And I think Ultimaker is actually positioning itself in the industrial segment with these printers.

    I would have even appreciated to extend the local web server.

     

    Edited by Jonas98
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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    This trend is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, bad for us customers. Functionality is moved from our printers, which we have paid the price of a decent car for, over to the Ultimaker owned web servers. Meaning, they can, at any time, block us from using our equipment. They have recently merged with a US company, that will make this so much worse. 

     

    I think you should start a parallell firmware, totally independent of servers to be used. Or give us a way to go back to older firmware. 

     

    I guess, that in a year or two, we won't be able to use our equipment anymore, without paying a monthly fee. Like we must rent what we have already bought.

     

    This is serious. Very serious.

     

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

     

    Ultimaker is very very loyal to its customers. Products are supported for a long time and keep getting software upgrades for years. 
    You always have the option to keep using firmware 7.1.3 which is available via our support pages. (Note that downgrading from fw version 8 must be done via the firmware recovery method, which is explained on our support pages)

    Our cloud offerings start with a free version. If you then want extra functionality, we offer paid subscriptions. Many companies do this, this is not evil.
    Though I can’t look in the future, I expect this freemium model will stay. 
     

    We are not stealing your printer from you. 
    Your voice is heard though. 


    Do you mind explaining why the local management console is important for you? Which functionality do you miss now?


     

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    57 minutes ago, tomnagel said:

    Do you mind explaining why the local management console is important for you? Which functionality do you miss now?

    For me, it is not a question of Ultimaker's loyalty or suspicion of evil intentions, so much as it is a question of reliability. If my printers require UM's servers in order to function properly, it adds several additional points of failure, such as internet communications and the presence/proper operation of UM's servers. It also adds vulnerability, as the printer needs to be exposed to the internet, and complicates provisioning of our network as we need to pass those communications through our security. For all those, and many more reasons, I would never rely on a printer in a production environment, if that printer required so many things beyond my control to function properly.

     

    The local management console is important for all the reasons I detailed above and the functionality I miss is everything that was just removed. The maintenance monitoring and reminders were key to keeping the machines running properly, the reports were critical for monitoring job completion rates and material usage to improve our material inventory and efficiency, and being able to re-run jobs from the history was a massive time-saver for repeat print jobs or re-submitting a job after a failure. Further, even if all the concerns I listed in the first paragraph were not a factor and I was happy to use the Digital Factory, I would still lose the real-time video monitoring when moving to DF. Often a simple still picture every 10 seconds is enough to ensure a print is continuing, but not always. When running challenging prints, diagnosing slicing/printing issues, and when dialing in a new material, the real-time video can be very helpful. Moving all the functions from the Management Console to the Digital Factory, as you have just done, requires me to choose which features are most important to me and give up the others, when before I had access to them all.

     

    Let me turn this around as ask you the question. If not to pressure people toward your subscription service, what possible reason is there to take away extant features? Features, I might add, that were advertised, paid for, and provided with the machine when I bought it. If UM is so loyal to their customers, how do they justify taking away functionality that I already paid for? And finally, if UM is willing to take away paid-for functionality now, how can you expect us to trust that UM won't take away more or demand more of us in the future? Taking features away from loyal, active users is no way to build trust.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    Thank you for your elaborate answer. We take your feedback seriously. Maybe we have underestimated the amount of users that use this piece of functionality. 
     

    Yes, you have paid for a printer with a set of functionality.  You are free to stay on the firmware version that you bought the printer with. I just don’t understand your reasoning that we’re taking things away from you. 

     

    The reason we want to move away from the management console on the printer is the limited processing power on the printer. The cloud has so much more options. 
    And the decision was made to kill most of the functionality locally on the printer, simply because keeping that working when upgrading other functionality of the printer costs resources. And resources are always scarce.  

    Finally, reliability. We should not have removed this functionality without proper communication.  That was a clear mistake. I apologize for that. 
     

     

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    2 hours ago, tomnagel said:

    Thank you for your elaborate answer. We take your feedback seriously. Maybe we have underestimated the amount of users that use this piece of functionality. 
     

    Yes, you have paid for a printer with a set of functionality.  You are free to stay on the firmware version that you bought the printer with. I just don’t understand your reasoning that we’re taking things away from you. 

     

    The reason we want to move away from the management console on the printer is the limited processing power on the printer. The cloud has so much more options. 
    And the decision was made to kill most of the functionality locally on the printer, simply because keeping that working when upgrading other functionality of the printer costs resources. And resources are always scarce.  

    Finally, reliability. We should not have removed this functionality without proper communication.  That was a clear mistake. I apologize for that.

     

    You are very welcome, and thank you for listening to our concerns. I truly cannot say if you underestimated or not. Perhaps very few of us are affected, but we are very heavily affected and therefore very disappointed. Or perhaps you did underestimate. Maybe you could compare units sold to units registered on Digital Factory and get a better sense of the impact.

     

    Yes, I could stay on lower version firmware, but no matter how you look at it, we still lose something. If I stay on lower version firmware, I lose bug fixes and performance improvements. If I upgrade firmware and move to Digital Factory, I lose real-time video monitoring. And if I upgrade firmware and stay local, I lose all my reports, maintenance information, history, and the ability to resubmit print jobs. I don't understand how one could not see that as taking something away. Sure, I could stay on the firmware the machine was sold with, but that still doesn't really keep our sales agreement intact, since the machine was also sold with the understanding that there would be continual improvement and bug fixes, which requires updating the firmware.

     

    I do understand about the limited resources of the machine and that compromises sometimes need to be made; but I think that the opinion of your user base should be taken into account in such decisions, particularly when the changes involve eliminating functionality. Did you poll the user base for their opinion about the proposed changes? Run focus groups? Survey select users? Was there any feedback process at all? I know it isn't always the norm to get that sort of feedback before making changes, but it would surely be an excellent way to maintain great relations with your customers and set UM apart from other manufacturers.

     

    Yes, the communication failure was by far the worst part of it. Had I known ahead of time what would change, I could have made an informed decision. I still would have been frustrated about having to make the choice, but at least I could have made it. I do understand that communication breakdown was accidental and mistakes happen - I appreciate the acknowledgment and apology. Thank you for that.

     

    As a possible solution, is it be feasible to enable the real-time video monitoring over the local network while the machine is connected to Digital Factory? If I could still go to http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8080/?action=stream and see the video, despite the machine being connected to Digital Factory, that would at least allow me a working mode where I had all the features I need available. And streaming the video alone should be a lot less resource-intensive than running the full management console from the printer. Thank you very much for your consideration.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    14 hours ago, tomnagel said:

    Thank you for your elaborate answer. We take your feedback seriously. Maybe we have underestimated the amount of users that use this piece of functionality. 
     

    Yes, you have paid for a printer with a set of functionality.  You are free to stay on the firmware version that you bought the printer with. I just don’t understand your reasoning that we’re taking things away from you. 

     

    The reason we want to move away from the management console on the printer is the limited processing power on the printer. The cloud has so much more options. 
    And the decision was made to kill most of the functionality locally on the printer, simply because keeping that working when upgrading other functionality of the printer costs resources. And resources are always scarce.  

    Finally, reliability. We should not have removed this functionality without proper communication.  That was a clear mistake. I apologize for that. 
     

     

     

    I use the local console all the time to re-print, do the maintenance etc. It is so much better than using the small touch screen.

     

    About loyalty: UM has been a fantastic company. A company I have used as an example to others on how it should be. I can use my own filament. I have to tune the parameters and make it print well. Or, I can pay a little more and get a high quality filament perfectly tuned from UM. It is my choice.

     

    I have told Formlabs "do as UM does" because it makes me so mad that I they force me to buy the nylon powder from them.

     

    A couple of years ago I moved from Oslo, the capital of Norway, to the country side. Now I have fresh air, silence, fjords and mountains, and a huge workshop with printers, CNCs etc. What I don't have it stable internet. So every time a company requires products I have bought, with my money, to be dependent on their servers, that is a product that will fail on a regular basis for me. If the product really was dependent on massive computing power... but the UM S5 and the Formlabs Fuse 1 are both totally independent devices. The servers are put in between to keep control, spy on data and try to get us over to a monthly subscription.

     

    So you see, my problems are two fold: for practical reasons, and for financial / philosophical. Remember one thing: European companies are built on trust. Americans then buy them or merge them, takes advantage of that trust and make them horrible. It has happened with so many Norwegian, Swedish and Danish companies. You will see in your company in as the time is going forward with the Americans taking more important roles: the hints to get things over to server, bit by bit. Cripple Cura for non UM is going to be proposed in meetings. Then, when you have moved functionality over to the servers someone will say in a meeting "these servers -- they are costing us a lot. requiring a subscription would just be fair." So even if it was not your the agenda right now, taking our products from us, making us renting them back, it is what is going to happen. Silently, step by step.

     

    And then, a new company will pop up, which do respect its customer, like UM used to do.

     

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?
    On 2/25/2023 at 9:50 PM, rachael7 said:

    For me, it is not a question of Ultimaker's loyalty or suspicion of evil intentions, so much as it is a question of reliability. If my printers require UM's servers in order to function properly, it adds several additional points of failure, such as internet communications and the presence/proper operation of UM's servers. It also adds vulnerability, as the printer needs to be exposed to the internet, and complicates provisioning of our network as we need to pass those communications through our security. For all those, and many more reasons, I would never rely on a printer in a production environment, if that printer required so many things beyond my control to function properly.

     

    The local management console is important for all the reasons I detailed above and the functionality I miss is everything that was just removed. The maintenance monitoring and reminders were key to keeping the machines running properly, the reports were critical for monitoring job completion rates and material usage to improve our material inventory and efficiency, and being able to re-run jobs from the history was a massive time-saver for repeat print jobs or re-submitting a job after a failure. Further, even if all the concerns I listed in the first paragraph were not a factor and I was happy to use the Digital Factory, I would still lose the real-time video monitoring when moving to DF. Often a simple still picture every 10 seconds is enough to ensure a print is continuing, but not always. When running challenging prints, diagnosing slicing/printing issues, and when dialing in a new material, the real-time video can be very helpful. Moving all the functions from the Management Console to the Digital Factory, as you have just done, requires me to choose which features are most important to me and give up the others, when before I had access to them all.

     

    Let me turn this around as ask you the question. If not to pressure people toward your subscription service, what possible reason is there to take away extant features? Features, I might add, that were advertised, paid for, and provided with the machine when I bought it. If UM is so loyal to their customers, how do they justify taking away functionality that I already paid for? And finally, if UM is willing to take away paid-for functionality now, how can you expect us to trust that UM won't take away more or demand more of us in the future? Taking features away from loyal, active users is no way to build trust.

     

    I can totally agree with rachel7, the active removement of features like the reprint from history is a bad thing.

    We run 12 UM Printers and we use this feature a lot.

    It's a shame that you're apparently being pushed to use online functions that were previously available locally.

    For Safety reasons we are not able to expose our printer network to the Internet.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    We hear you. We are currently investigating what it means to bring back reprinting soon 

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

      

    On 2/25/2023 at 9:50 PM, rachael7 said:

    It also adds vulnerability, as the printer needs to be exposed to the internet, and complicates provisioning of our network as we need to pass those communications through our security.

     

    Indeed. The printer I use at work is simply not allowed (company policy) to be connected to the (local) network, let alone to communicate to the outside world.

    A lot of the functionality of the Digital Factory is simply unavailable to me.

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    Posted · Firmware 8.1.0 - Where did everything go?

    Same here, my company won't even consider any demand regarding network connection, even local.

     

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