If there were such a thing as open source karma, Makerbot might just be its poster child. Just when the dust seems to have begun to settle on the Replicator 2 fiasco, along comes Tiertime, Beijing-based maker of the Up! Mini, to file suit against local Replicator distributor UCRobotics for patent infringement.
The debate over whether open or closed systems will prove the more sustainable and marketable model for the industry is far from settled. Manufacturers like Tiertime that choose the closed route must develop, support, and jealously protect proprietary systems that work well to build and maintain loyalty to the brand. But if open source technology should ultimately claim the victory, the nail in the proprietary coffin will be defense of intellectual property rights — because no matter how brilliant the system is, if it’s not unique, competition will kill the master.
Makerbot itself has had an extraordinarily difficult time defending the rights to its own technology, given the complexity of the relationship between RepRap and Makerbot and tensions between its origins and current trajectory. Replicator clones are shamelessly produced and sold by companies around the world, so for the tables to be turned and a Replicator distributor accused of encroaching on someone else’s intellectual property is downright ironic.
David-vs-Goliath move against UCRobotics notwithstanding, Tiertime’s biggest claim to fame is the Up! Mini, a Lilliputian device with the form factor of an espresso machine, the resource usage of a subcompact car, and the noise level of a dot-matrix printer. Fans love its minimal footprint and plug-and-play convenience. Haters bash its limited build area and (allegedly) flimsy construction. Complaints about Tiertime’s responsiveness and willingness to stand behind its product are few and far between. Praise for its sleek, compact design is abundant.
All in all, the Up! Mini is an accessible option for beginners looking to dip their toes in 3D printing’s unpredictable waters. But with more familiar names like Dremel and greater versatility like that of Xyzprinting’s Da Vinci 2.0 Duo on the market, Tiertime is fighting a battle on many fronts: differentiating itself from other proprietary designs, competing with open-source systems and DIY kits, and establishing brand loyalty amid the growing legions of 3D printer manufacturers.
I am having an issue with the filament randomly not feeding during a print but I'm not worried about this because the support that I have received in the past has been great.
Bought it to add to my army of 3D printers well it's junk worlds smallest build plate and build space, and garbage print resolution.
Love it, bought it just to get started with 3D printing and found it to be a great little printer. Very easy to learn with.
Good printer for the price, I modified my heated bed to raise the temp for less warping.
Excellent product with flawless finish, modern design, and enclosure to prevent burns. Unboxing takes less than 30 minutes, and it’s barely louder than an inkjet printer.