Linux support? Was ready to buy Moai today, but it seems there are a few show stoppers

#1

Was ready to purchase a Moai today, but after checking out the forums, it seems there are at least two major showstoppers:

  1. No current solution for slicing/support creation on Linux.

  2. Is it true that the software has to be registered to be able to use this somewhat expensive machine?

As for 1, Windows machines aren’t even allowed on our network anymore, since the release of Windows 10. Almost all of our partners have moved to Linux, so we had to as well, for a myriad of reasons. We can’t purchase hardware that is dependent on Microsoft products to operate.

Point 2 is something we’re maybe not understanding. Is it true that operating these machines requires that we register software? After paying $$ for the hardware? What if Peopoly disappears and we have to re-install software? This would mean our machines are now completely useless. I almost would have considered using Asura with wine on Linux, but there is no way, if Asura has to be registered to function. Is this really what Peopoly wants for their customers?

Personally, I like the Moai and the 200 better than, for example, the Prusa competitor, for a number of reasons, but in this case it looks like Peopoly is forcing us to go with Prusa.

There are advantages to the Prusa, too, like fully Open Source hardware and software, as well as full support for running the machines on Linux OS. Plus, no registration of software required!

Now I understand why Peopoly is protecting its support-generation IP, and I don’t mind that, but we can’t take any chance that we won’t be able to use the hardware in the future, due to requiring software registration. It seems these factors make going with the Prusa, or other options that support Linux, without software registration, the best choice.

Please let me know if I’m misunderstanding Peopoly’s strategy here. I really want to like your products, but it seems like Prusa has eliminated many of the risks currently present with the Peopoly products.

Regardless, I wish Peopoly all the best. I really like the hardware – just wish Peopoly would address these inherent risks to their customers.

Thanks for your consideration!

…Edit to specify Peopoly protecting its support-generation IP, rather than slicing IP…

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#2
  1. No current solution for slicing/support creation on Linux
    You can use Cura for slicing, it’s available for linux. Asura runs fine in wine, so you can use it on Linux. The support creation in Asura isn’t that great tbh. It doesn’t have orientation optimization and the automatic supports are only placed at local minima. So the scaffolding function of the supports you have to add yourself manually, but you have no control over the cross-bracing of the supports.
    I have botched something together in Blender that i use for supports. That is possible thanks to the moai using gcode and curaengine for slicing.

  2. Is it true that the software has to be registered to be able to use this somewhat expensive machine?
    Yes, Asura requires registration to work. Some users had trouble with that in the past and it is an annyoing “feature” from user perspective. When you look into the forum you see that many people use some 3rd party program to make supports (B9, XYZ, …). So my guess is that peopoly wants some control over who uses the software in case some copycat makes moai clones.

Peopoly offers a solid hardware platform to do true SLA (laser based) and you can develop your own software and tools to use with it thanks to the gcode control. Prusa has a good reputation regarding open source hardware and software, but the Prusa SL1 seems to be a rather limited machine (LCD-based, 168 x 50 mm build area).

P. S.: I have a Moai 130, i dont have any experience with the Moai 200.

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#3

Thanks for taking the time to respond, nbltsgndpfrdbrms! So it sounds like there are possible work-arounds for Linux, which is nice to know. Still, especially with 3D printers, lack of Linux support is really disappointing.

And, requiring registration for the software just seems to create unnecessary additional risks for customers.

This is just for my case – I can understand why others may not be so bothered about these issues. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Open Source and not having to deal with Windows…

Until Peopoly decides to address these issues, I think we’ll stay clear for now, but at least your information gives me the final data points to assess the risk/value proposition, and how these issues are dealt with by competitors.

Thanks again, and all the best!

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#4

Thanks for interests in our product. Moai was originally launched as a kit printer with very minimal resources (3 team mebers, full reliance on Kickstarter for funding and etc). We tested many open source slicers and found that while Cura has its problems, it was the best of the bunch in terms of results and speeds at the time with some modification to how it handles poygon reduction. This change to make Cura worked better for SLA was pulled into the full Cura version at 3.5.1 and now because part of the Cura main branch. (with thanks to Moai users who helped to make this possible) Our Asura software still uses the vanilla version of curaengine and have custom profiles for it that can easily be modified by end users.

If you don’t want to use Asura, you can always download a copy of Cura (3.5.1 for compatiability) and use the profiles we published and slice that way. You can use other tools to generate support if you like. Asura makes workflow much more streamlined for most users and has some unique features like calibration that is not available on Cura or any other software. The registration is for release updates easier.

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