From time to time, I receive questions about ADVi3+, its licenses, how to get the binaries for free or similar requests. So here is how it works:
- ADVi3++ is built from two different parts: the ADVi3++ firmware based on Marlin firmware under GPLv3, and the ADVi3++ LCD part created from scratch and under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
ADVi3++ Firmware part under the GPLv3 license
Some people are believing that “open source” means “open binaries”. It is not the case. I can provide binaries to however I want (ie. sponsors of the ADVi3++ project) providing that:
- I give to those people access to the corresponding source code without additional fees. This is the repository on GitHub
- I give to those people access to a way of building themselves the binaries. This is in the User Manual and in the Advanced User Manual (Simple Building of ADVi3++ Firmware from Sources, Advanced Building of ADVi3++ firmware from Sources).
- I do not limit the liberties of those people under GPLv3 (liberty to use, to modify, to publish their modifications, …)
This does not mean that I have to provide binaries to everybody on earth. I provide them to however I choose. It also means that I do not have to provide source code to everybody. But I choose so by publishing on a GitHub public repository.
To support those claims:
ADVi3++ LCD part under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
People receiving the LCD part are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
under the following conditions:
- They must give appropriate credit to me
- The may not use the material for commercial purposes
- If they remix, transform, or build upon the material, they must distribute their contributions under the same license as the original
I consider commercial purposes (not exhaustive list):
- Integration of ADVi3++ screens (or derivation of them) in a 3D printer you design and sell
- Integration of ADVi3++ screens (or derivation of them) in a hardware part you design and sell (like for example replacement drivers to make the printer more silent).
- The publication of the binaries on a Youtube channel. It does not depend if you are making money with this channel, Google/Youtube does.
- More generally, the publication of the binaries on any website that have advertisements or any kind of subscription model (for example: Medium) whether or not you are making money with it (the advertisers do).
Be aware that if you are doing something I do not like, I can choose at my own discretion to exclude you from the ADVi3++ supporters and you will loose access to any future releases of the binaries. So I encourage you to contact me to know if what you want to do is OK.
Using ADVi3++ in a commercial product
In the past months, I have received requests to integrate ADVi3++ or some derivative in commercial products (for example: Silence 3D). I judge this case by case but until now, I have always agreed and without fees. So if you want to use ADVi3++ in a commercial product, do not hesitate to contact me and explain your project.
I am also able in some cases to make myself the modifications your may need to support your hardware. In this case, I am charging a very reasonable amount per hour of work. Again, until now, I have never charged a fee for the distribution of ADVi3++. But be aware that I do not have much time.
Why this licensing model and making money with ADVi3++?
At the beginning, it was mainly to cover my costs:
Buy hardware and better support the different flavors of modifications you can perform on your printer. For example, I have bought four BLTouch sensors: a classic, a smart v2, a smart v3.0 and a v3.1, just to be sure my support is fine for all.
I bought six different LCD screens because there are currently two different models used by the i3 Plus and also because I wanted to troubleshoot some nasty strange behaviors with only some screens (such as the inability to remove the “beeps” on some, or finding a may to “unbrick” some panels).
Recently, I bought a power loss module for the Mark II because I want to support it and I currently own only a Mark I
The rent of the server hosting the ADVi3++ Community and some other tools I use for development of ADVi3++ (such as GitLab).
It is still true today and I continue to buy hardware to make the firmware better. But as the number of supporters has increased, I have to say that it is now a non-negligible source of revenue. As a consequence, I have decided to spend more time on ADVi3++ and this is what make the future version 5 possible.