All this talk about 3D printing is fascinating and great for the additive manufacturing industry in terms of gaining publicity, however this also spawns a new threat for people who own 3D printers, businesses based off of making products from 3D printers, and people who just upload CAD files for the 3D printing community – the legal system.
“Valenty suddenly became an unwilling combatant in the next digital war: the fight over copying physical objects”.
People can recreate models on their computer software manually or even with a 3D scanner. This is where companies may take legal action, if a person has ‘copied’ their product. This has happened at least once already where someone (Valenty) had uploaded their designs to an online community, free to download and build. Games Workshop (a company that sells figurines) made the website remove Valenty’s designs.
I think that new laws may be put in place to regulate exactly what can and cannot be printed (at least in the consumer level of 3D printing). We have seen something like this before with Napster and that was shut down. I don’t think that 3D printing will be shutdown, but could be controlled. The problem with enacting these new laws, are that the major companies who are affected by the 3D printing also have influence on the laws and may restrict what can and can’t be built.
Hopefully it will not get to the point where someone can only build products or templates purchased from companies because 3D printing has way more potential than this. I just don’t want to see the freedom and creativity of 3D printing taken away by laws created by corporations.
How do you think laws will change the 3D printing industry at the consumer level?