Tag Archives: whitepaper

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Kickstarter Funded, Copyright Law

RoBo 3D Printer

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from January 29 to February 2.

Tuesday, January 29

Copyright Law, DMCA, and 3D Printing: A Detailed Whitepaper

Copyright and 3D Printing

Michael Weinberg has published an extensive whitepaper about the potential impact of Copyright Law on the emerging 3D printing industry.

3D printing provides an opportunity to change the way we think about the world around us. It merges the physical and the digital. People on opposite sides of the globe can collaborate on designing an object and print out identical prototypes every step of the way. Instead of purchasing one of a million identical objects built in a faraway factory, users can customize pre-designed objects and print them out at home. Just as computers have allowed us to become makers of movies, writers of articles, and creators of music, 3D printers allow everyone to become creators of things.

3D printing also provides an opportunity to reexamine the way we think about intellectual property. The direct connection that many people make between “digital” and “copyright” is largely the result of a historical accident. The kinds of things that were easiest to create and distribute with computers – movies, music, articles, photos – also happened to be the types of things that were protected by copyright. Furthermore, it happened to be that the way computers distribute things – by copying – was exactly the behavior that copyright regulated. As a result, copyright became an easy way to (at least attempt to) control what people were doing with computers.


In the whitepaper, Weinberg explains how copyright law and the DMCA will apply to 3D printing. He also describes the first case of copyright infringement: the Penrose triangle.

Penrose Triangle 3D Printing

The story of the first 3D printing-related copyright takedown request is a case in point. A designer named Ulrich Schwanitz created a 3D model for an optical illusion called a “Penrose triangle.” He uploaded his design to a website, Shapeways, that allows designers to sell 3D printed objects and invited the public to purchase a copy in the material of their choice. He also, for better or worse, both claimed that creating this design was a massive design achievement and refused to tell anyone else how he made the object.

As is often the case on the internet, shortly thereafter another designer, Thingiverse user artur83, uploaded a Penrose triangle with the comment:

Inspired by Ulrich Schwanitz’s ‘challenge’
about the “Impossible Penrose Triangle”
I thought I’d give it a try.
Looks pretty neat.

Unlike Shapeways, the website Thingiverse is built around sharing design files. As a result, because it was now up on Thingiverse anyone could download the design, understand how it worked, and print out their own version at home.

Schwanitz did not appreciate artur83′s behavior and sent a request to Thingiverse that the model be removed. [16] Thingiverse complied, but eventually public outcry convinced Schwanitz to dedicate his design to the public domain and retract the takedown request.

Weinberg continues in his whitepaper to describe the difference between useful and creative objects, licensable and non-licensable designs. He concludes that online communities will have a great amount of influence on how copyright policy is enacted.

Until there is better legal clarity, cultural clarity is the best way to protect the development of 3D printing.

Read the full whitepaper called What’s the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing?.

3D Printer Maker Objet Breaks Records by Developing 100+ Materials

Objet Multi-Materials 3D Printed Car

3D printer manufacturer Objet has established a new record in the world of 3D printing: the ability to print with over 100 materials. This feat was accomplished by developing 39 “digital material” composites that are derivatives of other materials that can be fed to the printer.

By comparison, most consumer 3D printers can only support one, two or three unique materials in a single model and most marketplaces only support a dozen or so total materials to choose from.

From the Objet press release:

Objet expands material range to 107 including 39 new ‘Digital Material’ composites for the Objet Connex Multi-Material 3D Printing Systems
Objet Connex Multi-material 3D Printers can include up to 14 different material properties in the same model – unique to the industry.

Objet Ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing has announced 39 new ‘Digital Materials’ available with its Objet Connex range of multi-material 3D printing systems. This development places Objet customers at the forefront of additive manufacturing in terms of range of possible printing materials to choose from. Customers can now select from 107 materials ranging from rigid to rubber-like substances in terms of texture, standard to ABS-grade engineering plastic in terms of toughness, as well as from transparent to opaque, in terms of clarity and shades.

90 of the 107 materials made available by Objet are ‘Digital Materials‘, derived by the composite mixing of primary Objet materials. This enables designers, engineers and manufacturers to simulate very precise material properties to closely resemble their intended end-product with the greatest level of realism. The use of the Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer allows users to also combine up to 14 of these materials; such as rigid and flexible, or opaque and transparent materials, at the same time in a single consistent model.

According to David Reis, CEO for Objet, “With 39 new Digital Materials, Objet have become the first 3D printing company to break the 100 materials barrier. Considering that we had half this number just a few short years ago, this growth in material choice confirms our commitment to consistently deliver new and enhanced material properties to our customers,” explains Reis. These new materials will be used by design and manufacturing companies in virtually every industry segment and in every stage of their product prototyping process from form modeling to fit testing and functional verification.

The company has also today launched two new material enhancements. It now offers a new and improved Objet Rigid Black material (Objet VeroBlackPlus) providing increased dimensional stability and surface smoothness for all-purpose rapid prototyping applications.* Objet’s 2011-released High Temperature material, offering the high thermal functionality of engineering plastics will be available on all Objet Connex and Objet EdenV 3D Printers and the new Objet30 Pro Desktop 3D Printer.

Objet released a whitepaper listing the 10 reasons to shift to multi-material printing. In that whitepaper is the chart below that shows Objet’s continuous innovation in 3D printable materials.

Objet Materials Innovation Chart

Below is a video of a 3D printed car being manufactured with 14 different materials in the same model.


Via MarketWatch and Objet.