releasing designs under a free software licence, designed using software that is not free software
I will never understand this.
You seem awfully critical of Aleph Objects. Keep in mind that every design has compromises, even yours. Manufacturers compromise between price, source-ability, performance, manufacturability, aesthetic, and more. Making one machine that can hit [insert overkill specification here] is totally different than making thousands upon thousands of them, in a way that is self-sustaining as a business, not to mention selling, distributing, marketing, supporting, and developing on them before someone copies you and undercuts you on price.
If you are interested in input from or collaboration with Aleph, it’s not a great idea to start out by saying in essence “look at all of these problems with your merely adequate product in which I am disappointed, you should really have done [insert your relatively inexperienced opinion here] instead, which is [insert way in which the machine is improved, supposedly]. Oh, by the way here is my half-baked design which currently does nothing, but is way better.”
What makes a machine good is not rigidity, speed, price, features, reliability, efficiency, safety or anything else that can be quantified. Those things are very important, sure, but not as important how you feel when you use the machine, which can come from the performance that the specs enable, but more importantly comes from things like whether the machine can do the things that the manufacturer claims it can do, whether the machine enables you to do the things you acquired the machine to do, how easy or difficult the machine is to maintain, whether the machine was developed in a way that resonates with your philosophy (as is the case for many Lulzbot customers, I’m sure) and the practical benefits that that philosophy entails, like in the case of free hardware companies like Lulzbot, freedom to use it however you want, access to the source code to study it if you want, freedom to modify if you want, and distribute copies with or without your modifications if you want.
Good luck, I think you should re-evaluate your approach.