3d printing

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 3D Printing

 3D printing[1] is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. A materials printer usually performs 3D printing processes using digital technology. The first working 3D printer was created in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp.[3] Since the start of the 21st century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines, and their price has dropped substantially. The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, construction (AEC), industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military, engineering, civil engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech (human tissue replacement), fashion, footwear, jewelry, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, food, and many other fields. It has been speculated[6] that 3D printing may become a mass market item because open source 3D printing can easily offset their capital costs by enabling consumers to avoid costs associated with purchasing common household objects.[7]

3D printing has existed for decades within certain manufacturing industries and many legal regimes, including patents, industrial design rights, copyright, and trademark can apply. However, there is not much jurisprudence to say how these laws will apply if 3D printers become mainstream and individuals and hobbyist communities begin manufacturing items for personal use, for non profit distribution, or for sale. Any of the mentioned legal regimes may prohibit the distribution of the designs used in 3d printing, or the distribution or sale of the printed item. To be allowed to do these things, a person would have to contact the owner and ask for a licence, which may come with conditions and a price. Patents cover processes, machines, manufactures, and compositions of matter. Therefore, if a type of wheel is patented, printing, using, or selling such a...
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