2014-01-15

Leaving Thingiverse

I like Thingiverse!
I put this step off for a long time, hoping for the best.
But Makerbot Industries has gone way too far and I can no longer support that site by hosting my designs there. Sorry.

My personal Makerbot Industries history?

 For my first 3d printer I decided on a RepMan 3.0. Back then the Makerbot Cupcake was out and it was clear that it had a ton of design flaws and was shipping with mistakes lots of others had already fixed in their designs.

When Makerbot Industries announced the Thing-O-Matic it looked like they had fixed their issues and had a new printer that was so reliable, it could print dozens of parts on a conveyor belt unobserved during the night. (That's what the official promo video showed a timelapse of after all.)
I was wrong. It was to be 2 years of fixing and tuning and replacing parts of that printer.

After such an experience I skipped the Replicator.
I learned that Makerbot doesn't release upgrade kits for their designs to fix hardware issues they know about.

Then a lot of features from Thingivere was removed (Bill of Materials, selecting required tools) that I had used up to that point. That got me quite upset but I didn't leave as there was not good alternative at that point.

Then they turned turbo-capitalist.
With the replicator II they stopped publishing hardware plans and switched to closed source software.
That step caused huge waves and a lot of people left Thingiverse and started alternative sites and a lound #OccupyThingiverse move.

I am subscribed to the Thingiverse Blog's RSS feed via a Reprap feed aggregator.
It turned out that the Thingiverse Blog became but a tag on the Makerbot blog.
Okay, I don't like that but I can live with that.

Nowadays the Thingiverse Blog's RSS feed consists entirely of Makerbot Industries marketing spam.
Not a single of these postings even mentions the word Thingiverse anymore. They are about Makerbot Stores and stuff.

Now the Thingiverse site login became a "Makerbot login". It's clearly no longer an independent site that happens to have a ton of Makerbox banner ads on it.

The last bit was their CES show now.
Chipped, proprietary filament cartridges in non-standard dimensions. This is a move I can absolutely not tollerate.
I'm leaving.

Alternatives

The most prominent alternative and the one I'm leaving for seems to be
Youmagine (It is operated by Ultimaker.)
They seem to be quite fair and open at the moment. I would have liked something not bound to any printer manufacturer but there is no better alternative now.

Youmagine allows me to include embed a design iFrame into this blog similar to embedded YouTube videos.
I guess I'll use that feature a lot.

My current plan is to keep the Thingiverse entries but remove the files and add a link to my Blog (most already have that) and to the Youmagine entry. Let's see if this will trigger any abuse response but I hope not.
I'm planning to use that opportunity to clean up many old designs, add more technical drawings,... .

I am thinking of having a copy on GitHub using this GitHub template for 3D printed projects.
The  problem with the GitHub -approach is that there is no index listing all  designs hosted where and that GitHub itself may at one point choose not to give free resources to projects that are not software at all.

About Youmagine

It's pretty new and still being improved at a very quick rate.

As far as the relation to Ultimaker goes, for the moment it seems to act only as a sponsor.
I would however really like an official word about this. Company managements change and so do their opinions.

It has this "send to 3d printer" button. It takes me to "You are not authorized to access this page." and I can't see a way to disable this or how it would ever select what file (if many) to send.

I get to have a Bill of Materials again! Yea!!!

I can't see anything about version control or deriving designs from other designs. The later feater I found quite important as you can navigate this ancestry both way. It was however seldomly used. Most designs I ever found are write-only and nobody ever improves on them. (Heck, hardly any 2 people use the same software or software able to import the original file. So people are often stuck with reverse engineering a design from an STL export.)

There is an empty "" block when editing a design. No idea what it means.

As for Creative Commons licenses: There is a nice feature "download printable attributions tag for this design" feature!

About Images: I cannot remove automatically rendered images for STL files. They will always be shown next to my uploaded images.

Profile page: You have to look up your password first. If you forget to enter it you are warned. Entering it THEN however takes you to the login page and after that all the text you already typed it lost. :(

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