When the laser from our TroTec Speedy 300 lasercutter made first contact with the sheet of plywood that would later become the very first Ultimaker Original it was already decided Ultimaker would be an open source company. We feel very strong about sharing our ideas, philosophies and working alongside with the best innovators there are.. our community!
The Ultimaker Original files were open and made available for anyone who showed interest. This helped us and the community a great deal in terms of improving manuals but also improving parts of the assembly and mechanics. This all leads to what continues to be one of the strongest and fastest DIY-3D Printers out there today; the Ultimaker Original. Little did we know that being open source influenced us in totally different ways as well.
It has been the foundation for our amazing community which keeps growing and growing, both in size and expertise. We see an increased rate in new users who care about open source hardware & software and relate to our values. But also users who just don’t want to be alone when making the step towards this new technology called 3D printing. It is a safe feeling knowing there is a huge group of friendly and capable people just a second away ready to inspire, help or share. 3D printing tends to have this kind of.. addictive effect on people who are involved. Being able to share your experiences and talk about it with like-minded addicts is motivating. No one is as impressed with making the worlds smallest drill than your friends in the Ultimaker community!
While continuing our development with the Ultimaker 2, we decided to take a path that fits our company best. Ultimaker is non-stop growing and our users have different expectations from us in terms of service, support and experience compared to ‘the early days’. With the Ultimaker 2 this meant we chose to let the dust settle from the launch first and prepare for the future. But more importantly, prepare for being open source. Being open source goes far beyond just sharing files and ideas. There must be room for collaboration, if there isn't sharing is futile. And you must be ready for it. The entire team needs to be familiar with the machine, so we can offer quality support. At the same time we need to be able to follow ones train of thought, far outside the box. Our team must have room in their agenda to be available for our contributing users and engage them.
It has been the foundation for our amazing community.
On a daily bases we have to make ourselves available for conversation and be more of a player on the field than an unreachable entity. Only then we can harvest the fruits of being open source, and continue development shoulder-to-shoulder with our users. With Ultimaker as the common denominator in these developments, we have the opportunity to let the entire community benefit from the innovations of a single user.
Being open source enables quick iterations and innovation which pushes the boundaries of the impossible every time. It means the innovations are community-powered and our focus lies not only on what we think is important, but also what the user wants to see.
When we upgraded the Ultimaker Original to Ultimaker Original+ we felt it would be wise to follow the same path, and share the files when we are ready for you. Along with the Ultimaker Original+ files we also want to share the Ultimaker heated bed upgrade files with you.
Well now… lets continue innovating!
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