On August 24th we announced that Printed Solid was ending its relationship with Creality due to GPL compliance. We were amazed at how great the community response has been. It truly has been wonderful to see so many people were as enthusiastic and loyal to open source and GPL as we are. It truly shows that as a community we are still together in furthering 3D printing and setting the groundwork for the future of the industry.
We are happy to see Creality realize that GPL and open source doesn't mean "free" and there are responsibilities associated with it. The countless developers on Marlin have puts years of work into an amazing product. If this were a close source product licensed then it would drive 3D printer prices through the roof and hold back all of the advancements seen in Marlin. The only payment for all the work that went into Marlin is sharing any work you do in Marlin. This makes the product better for everyone at a price far less than any close source solution out there.
There have been other companies that have also released their source and many who still have not done so. It is important for the community to demand source on their printers if they are using GPL firmware. This should be just as important in the buying process as any review video on YouTube. I would implore all the Youtube review channels to include in their videos if the printer they are reviewing is or is not GPL compliant. If you read reviews on sites like gearbest or Amazon then check to see if it is GPL compliant and if not then ask for source and make others aware of the fact.
It is not just about GPL, but safety as well. A lot of these non-GPL printers still do not have thermal protection enabled. When you see some horror story about a house burning down because of a 3D printer this is usually the cause. It is a simple thing to enable but these non-GPL printers use older versions of the firmware where it had to be enabled. In more recent versions of Marlin this feature is enabled by default. So without source you will have to rely on making or finding another firmware from scratch. As we all know there is a huge variety of users out there with different skill levels and a lot of new users do not know about things like this. Having source from the manufacturer and changing one line of code helps new users get working knowledge on how the printer works without being intimidating. Ideally it should always be enabled but new users don't have this luxury sometimes. They are still trying to figure out how to print a benchy and asking them to learn how to code and upload firmware manually is asking a lot on day one.
With that said we would like to thank Creality3D for releasing most of their source code and welcome them into the brave world of open source. They will find things they have done like power resume in Marlin and in return when they revisit printers or launch a new printer they will find the community has saved them countless hours of development.
Here you can find their published source files. If you have one of these printer you should do your part and review the code, look for improvements and share them. It is the core of open source after all.
At this time we do not intend on bring Creality3D back into our store but we will keep an eye on them. As long as they continue this trend we may consider it in the future.
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