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Disappointed in Kudo3D

Some time ago I purchased a Kudo3D Titan2 printer.

As a Linux user who runs only open source software, I chose it over competitors because I saw that it used open source firmware and Octoprint running on a Raspberry Pi.

Imagine my disappointment when I find that the only semi-supported way of using the printer is to use the closed source Creation Workshop. On top of that, Kudo3D doesn’t make it clear what changes they may have made to Octoprint (an AGPL3 application) to support SLA / DLP printing to the Titan 2 or even provide root login for the printer itself. I haven’t yet had time to delve into the Octoprint situation, but it may be that Kudo3D is in violation of the AGPL license and therefore forfeits the right to use Octoprint in their printers. I would like to see Kudo3D comment on this and other issues and to provide any and all source code guaranteed by any licenses covering the software in their printer.

For my own use, I have painstakingly recreated the sliced input to the printer using only open source tools and bash scripting. Although it isn’t yet end-user friendly, it is a hell of a lot better than using questionable proprietary software. I hope to clean it up and release it for anyone wanting an alternative to Creation Workshop.

One additional thing that bothers me is the INCREDIBLY INEFFICIENT use of PNG file archives to represent slices. When time permits, I will investigate alternatives.

My end goal is to produce any missing pieces to allow a 100% open source toolchain usable from Linux for printing with the Titan printer.

Not sure how something that runs on a zipped folder with image files in it and a text excel file can be a closed source system???

If the code that creates and/or operates on those files is not open, then it is closed. The file format is irrelevant.

If you really want a fully open source toolchain, you could model the supports yourself and then use something like Slacer.js to slice files.

Kudo3D is a practical supporter of open source software. Last summer, Kudo3D hired 2 interns from UC Berkeley and let me direct them to contributing to the open source Photonic3D software. What they built was a functional toolchain from slice to print that would work on the Titan 1 that has been incorporated into the main upstream repo.

I suppose we could have marketed this better, maybe announced it with more fanfare, but I, as a developer and contributor to open source software, definitely don’t doubt their support.

Also, having written the PNG processing engine for Photonic3D myself and having this discussion among the developers, the reality is that PNG files aren’t that big, especially for easily-compressible 2-tone images. Plus, the portability of numbered PNG slices beats almost any other way of representing data.

If you really want to go fully open-source and are interested in contributing, we’d be happy to have you contribute to Photonic3D.

Currently I add supports to my models in FreeCAD and use Slic3r for slicing to svg and a series of self-written scripts to prepare the final zipped PNGs for delivery to the Titan2. It’s 100% open, providing the Titan 2 itself isn’t using anything closed when it sends the print to Octoprint.

Unfortunately I cannot help you with Photonic3D. I no longer use Java of any kind, but especially closed source Oracle Java.

I’ll give you some advice though:

I don’t mean to be overly harsh, but just from glancing around the git repo for Photonic3D I can see you are doing some very questionable stuff: Like start.sh needing root access via sudo, then downloading, installing, and executing updates (as root) with no form of signature verification. You are checking for and potentially installing Java binaries directly from Oracle without asking the user for permission and bypassing certificate checking while downloading them. You are also using --force-yes on a couple apt-get install commands which is very bad practice and potentially system corrupting. Your repo also has third-party binary applications and libraries in it (avrdude, libc.so.6): Why?

I would fix these issues before letting anyone run the application, as you are likely to bork someone’s machine. You should quit trying to avoid Linux package management and let it do its job. This seems like an application that was written for Windows and only nominally ported to Linux.

The original Titan 1 source code is available for download under support section. The Titan 2 code is in your SD card.
The login is pi. The password is pi123. Everyone is welcome to change the software as they wish. Not every customer has an ambitious goal to transform open source codes and we certainly do not have the capacity to provide supports for customizing the existing open software. Many nice third party software are free but not open. As a result, the tool chain can not be fully open. Creationworkshop is not the only way to do slicing but it is the most practical one now. We also recommend Autodesk “Meshmixer” for support generation as it is a decent software.

There are still a lot to be done with open software and we wish you successful to integrate the toolchain for linux system. If absolute open for the tool chain is your eternal goal, someone need to use their spare time to develop the missing pieces. You might want to take the lead and initiate a software discussion in the public with others who can work with you or help you to reach your goal.

We have provided as much flexibility as we can and we believe Titan is the most flexible one in the market.

It’s good to hear that the Titan 2’s code in on the SD card. It’d be nice to know what is different from stock Octoprint, but at least it is there when I find time to investigate it.

Thanks for listing the login password for the printer’s RaspBerry Pi. I already changed mine, but I’m sure others will find it useful, especially in this age of constant security threats against the internet of things.

Not really the right place to discuss Photonic3D anyway. Certainly all the parts can be GPL if you choose, but perhaps a discussion worth taking up in that forum rather than here.