Prusa Research is an open source 3D printer company. As of 2019, Prusa Research emerges as the poster child of open source economic growth in terms of numbers - while Lulzbot continues its upward rise as a high growth, open source company. As of early 2018, Prusa Research was selling 8000 3D printers per month. This buries the Makerbot debacle in the annals of history. While the open source ethic does not seem to be the highest priority any longer at Prusa Research, they still relase the source code for their 3D printers.
Prusa Research is an interesting case study for the authenticity of their open source claim.
Any longstanding member of the open source community recognizes Josef Prusa as a seminal leader in open source development of the 3D printer. Great work indeed. Until the Prusa i3 MK3 came out in 2018.
We at OSE are led to question whether the latest design, the Prusa i3 MK3 - is still open. Earlier in 2018, we contacted Prusa Research because we wanted to access their files for the i3 MK3 extruder. We were told that the files were available only to buyers. We wanted to use the MK3 extruder on OSE's D3D 3D Printer. So instead, we went with the MK2 extruder, which we could not get to work reliably unless we disabled retraction.
Lex Berezhny, an OSE Developer - contacted Prusa Research tech support - see conversation:
We ceased our inquiry regarding the openness of the Prusa i3 MK3 extruder - as we shifted to the E3D Titan Aero extruder as the standard for the OSE design. We did this upon suggestion from our friends at Lulzbot.
So this question is still an open one - and it makes for an interesting study. We have seen a number of companies give up the open source ideal, and as proponents of open culture - we like to study this question.
We are open to suggestions on this, and certainly hope to be corrected.
And this guy also uses a Titan extruder.
Prusa does have a nice page with all STL files though (no STP): https://www.prusa3d.com/prusa-i3-printable-parts/ Cool, thanks!Very cool!Thanks!