Copied?! You be the judge.
In early to middle 2022 I worked with this company when they were having issues with their 8 bit grbl and MKS DLC was not up to the task. There are lots of issues with Makerbase MKS DLC32 design and I explained the problems in the MKS DLC32 design to the the owner of this company as also to their lead product developer of the Pro series engraving machine. I also explained how Black-n-Blue 3 could help them and how we could customize the design to their machine helping significantly on the real estate and cost.
We had several collaborative discussions and emails. They purchased Black-n-Blue 3 and I even provided a special ganged Y build for their motor requirements as they have a large gantry machine. With my detailed knowledge of my design I clearly see the DNA of Black-N-Blue 3 in this adaptation and in combination with the timing of this release in late 2022 relative to what and when I provided, in my opinion it is highly unlikely a coincidence. I can tell you that this sort of design is difficult to pull off as a ground up design in 1 iteration, as it took a couple of prototypes for me to end up with BnB3, but I did not have the benefit of referring to someone else's design. At an absolute minimum I believe they scrutinized my design and it led them in a specific direction that in my opinion would not have been the direction they would have naturally taken had they not been leveraging my design and my experience in this area.
I'm glad they liked my design and my advice, and they must have seen the same issues with MKS DLC32 as I saw. I suppose they didn't want a middleman because they have in-house PCB fab capabilities.
I have since added several features to Black-n-Blue 3 that I am fairly certain this other design don't have and I continuously improve my designs. On one hand, I guess I should be flattered because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But on the other hand I'm a little frustrated. The owner shared with me how he developed the idea of diode combining that you see in 10-40W optical power diodes today and how his supplier productized the idea without including him.
Innovators remember: they can only imitate what you have already done and they cannot imitate what you have yet to do in the future.
I have intentionally redacted names and explicit details as I know small companies have difficulties in today's economic environment so I have made an earnest attempt remain fair. Everything stated or implied as fact in the blog I can confirm with emails, call logs and invoices. Everything stated as opinion is my personal opinion and the reader is welcome to draw their own conclusions. You be the judge.