When I first heard about this I was down-hearted. I’ve followed Makerbot Industries from the beginning and seeing Bre Pettis (one founder of Makerbot) and his enthusiasm towards open-source always made me excited about the maker community – and what is starting to recognised as a revolution. But why closed-source, now?
The previous iterations of the product have been open to the community, and improved by it. All the previous designs are already online and I can’t see there is too much that the community couldn’t work out for themselves, so why waste everybody’s time?
Making the Replicator 2 closed-source isn’t like a patent. It doesn’t stop clones. Therefore, I hope this is temporary (as they will later be releasing an ‘experimenter’ version) in an effort to stay ahead of the crowd and release the designs in good course.
That being said the new Makerbot looks stunning and offers great improvements over the previous version.
[EDIT: Bre has since released a post to help clarify some ‘misinformation’, stating that they ‘are working that out’ regarding the projects open or closed source nature. He also stresses that he intends to continue to support the open-source movement.]
[EDIT 2: Another post by Bre aims to fully explain the decisions involved and quotes several opinions from open-source folk who make a lot of sense.]