*Since writing this article, I have been informed 8-bit boards will still be supported with Marlin 2.0. This is not the last version of 8-bit marling but the last “exclusive” 8-bit Marlin.
In the last couple of days, Marlin posted on their Twitter that they released a new version of the good old 8-bit version of Marlin that many of us are running on our machines. Normally, I do not look at the changelog and most of my machines are running a pretty dated version of Marlin. However, for some reason, I decided to click on this version and after seeing what was stated in the release it made me reminisce about the past few years of 3D printing ventures. The latest version of Marlin which is Marlin 1.1.9 is “the final 8-bit flat version of this firmware.”
As we get closer and closer to 32-bit boards becoming more prominent with Marlin 2.0 I think back to how far this community has come. I have been a hobbyist myself for over 4 years before getting a job in the industry this year where I get to share my passion for the technology every day. It amazes me often with just how much 3D printing has evolved in such a short time and how much it continues to evolve. I have been a part of quite a few other communities with my past hobbies but there truly is none quite like this one.
We are builders, pioneers, artists, scientists, engineers, sometimes nuts, but certainly all makers that love the technology. I personally would like to thank each and every Marlin developer that has contributed to this amazing open source firmware. Even you, the beta testers and users that reported bugs to allow the firmware to be polished and have additional features with every version release.
It is pretty amazing that just a few months ago a large group of my 3D printing family on YouTube spread the awareness of GPL violation that had been going on with quite a few Chinese manufacturers. Then you, as a community all band together to speak up for what was going on and ultimately were able to push change. It is the sharing of information that has allowed this amazing technology to quite literally torpedo forward in both the realm of hardware and software.
Thanks to your efforts we now have the Chinese company Creality complying with Marlin’s licensing and even making one of their latest machines completely open source. In this last release of 8-bit Marlin in the changelog, there is a bullet that states “Added POWER_LOSS_RECOVERY for SD printing (based on work by Creality3D)” which is pretty amazing. Power loss recovery can now be a part of just about any 3D printer running 8-bit Marlin which is still a relatively new feature that was only available on select machines.
With that being said I would also like to extend a massive thank you to both Crealty and Naomi Wu for her work with helping to explain GPL and open source to the Creality team. It was a contribution of the community and her work that allowed this change to happen. Without rambling on too much more I wanted to end this by saying I am damn proud of this community and I am ecstatic to see where together we can take this.
Thank you all!