Saturday, April 24, 2010


RepRap the Lawgiver...

Many people (including me) are interested in the legal implications of the widespread take-up of home reprapping.

Now, IANAL, but I have a chum, Simon Bradshaw, who is. He, Patrick Haufe and I have written a paper on home 3D printing and the law. The paper is based on Simon's LLM dissertation. It has just been published by the journal ScriptEd.

You can read it here.

Well, you know you're no longer at the cutting edge when you start seeing serious articles about the legal implications of what you're doing.

Good article, mind. :-)

I think the thing noted in the article which I keep coming back to is...

"...3D printing is capable of manufacturing more complicated and intricate shapes than any other primary manufacturing technology."

Right now, we have an emphasis on trying to replicate objects that have been created with other fabrication technologies. Before too long, I expect, designers using small 3D printers are going to start exploiting the opportunities offered by a technology with which objects can be produced that can not be made or not be made cost-effectively with other fabrication methods.

Once that happens, conventional manufacturing companies are going to start seeing challenges to their continued existence to make any perceived intellectual property threat posed by small 3D printers insignificant by comparison.
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