In the annals of rapid prototyping, the industry's ongoing intellectual property (IP) skirmishes, including those between Tiertime, Stratasys, and Afinia — maker of the H480, a copycat of the Up! Plus 2 licensed by Delta Micro Factory, Tiertime's parent company — may come to be jokingly called the Clone Wars. For the time being, though, the battles currently known as the 3DP IP Wars, centered on determining whether various aspects of additive manufacturing systems belong to one or another of their developers, or if the technology's evolution is intrinsic to the public domain, are no laughing matter.
The mess of patent infringement claims and counterclaims becomes ever more convoluted as members of the open-source and proprietary systems camps grow more deeply entrenched in their positions on the debate that has beset the industry from its inception. With pioneers and the organizations they founded splitting over their irreconcilable differences on the divisive issue, and competitors merging through acquisitions and licensures; figuring out who made what with whom — not to mention whether further evolution, or revolution, is on the horizon — is getting tricky.
What places Tiertime's Up! Plus 2 at the heart of one such conflict is the elegant simplicity of its design. From the industrial-looking open frame to the automatically adjusting heated build plate, the Up! Plus 2's form follows function in a device that offers unabashedly efficient and reliable performance. It excels in build quality, precision, and ease of use. Among the chief complaints are Tiertime's choice of proprietary — rather than open-source — technology, and the resulting lack of community support and innovation for the Up! Plus 2.
This, of course, is the sticky wicket for all of 3D printing's purveyors: to close off collaborative innovation in the interest of winning primacy through competitive advantage, or to risk losing everything in the hope of achieving success through the collective wisdom of the open-source community. While that matter that remains, as yet, unresolved, it's no wonder that others want to copy or claim rights to the Up! Plus 2's winningly straightforward design.
I'm blown away by the value of this technology for the technical design trades. The best invention since the pencil.
The software that comes with this machine deserves an A+. It may be basic and lacking a few features that would be nice to have.
The Up Plus 2's quality was far higher than other, better known printers with seemingly higher resolution.
Very easy to setup and get running. Quiet machine. Nice Design. Needs support for Nylon, wireless or memory card printing. Thumbs up overall.
I am highly impressed with it. Being a 'budget model', some of the design is questionable and it does need a fair bit of maintenance.