Copy protection on 3-D printing (a future risk) "The 3-D printing process makes it

Copy protection on 3-D printing (a future risk)
"The 3-D printing process makes it easier for inventors to enter the market, but it makes things easier for copycats as well.

What will the implications be for a German mechanical engineering company when its clients in Mexico or Vietnam no longer need to import replacement parts from Stuttgart, but instead can acquire the digital 3-D blueprint and print their own parts? What will the implications be when a computer file is all that’s needed to copy WMF silverware or Gucci sunglasses? One American company has already patented a copy protection mechanism for 3-D printing, and the mass market is likely to follow."

It’s actually not likely to affect most of us. We’ll continue to use un-encumbered, DRM-free file formats and open source software.

And if you own a commercial machine and they move to this? – well, you got what was coming to you.

You can’t “copy protect” something you don’t offer for download.
You don’t offer your own plans for download. People open up your device with calipers and meassure to make their own blueprints.
Patents on functionality, design patents (DE: Geschmacksmuster) for design elements and trademarks for your name on the parts still exist.

When the accessory (mobile phone, tablet) manufacturers adapt these technologies, then one would print lets say a “Porsche Design” iPhone case if they can find the 3D files.

@Ibrahim_Kocaalioglu it’s just too easy to recreate these types of things. It’s not really a concern for the open source community. And look how successful EVERY other DRM scheme has been in the past: Not…at all…

Anyone even considering a copy protection scheme for 3D objects clearly does not understand the social implications of this technology. It’s an obsolete way of thinking.

Three hurrays for the copycats! #occupypatents

Copying a part from the 3D CAD model file wouldn’t really be all that much simpler than copying it from the 2D engineering drawings - if you have either, you have all the information you need to make the part. The important thing for designers is to not release drawings or 3D model files to ANYBODY if you want to retain the sole rights to produce the design - once you have released one copy, you might as well assume there are 100, 1,000 or 10,000 copies in circulation. (Just ask anybody who sent their plans to a factory in China for a quotation!)

Including not releasing the physical copy you intent to sell to customers?
The only part that it missing are tollerances.

Like Shapeways, a company can store these files and upon request send them to a DRM enabled printer. I thing Cubify is such a device however it is not popular in RepRap society including me.

@Ibrahim_Kocaalioglu and as soon as someone has a physical copy, it’s trivial to reproduce.

:slight_smile: Same with DVD movies and Audio CDs.

Let’s just make sure DRM-printer-software never becomes popular and g-code is here to stay.

I agree 3D printing has a long way to go and it requires everyone’s contribution.

I’m waiting for the next power of ten increment. Up or down, either is cool.

@Brad_Koehn It’s not a format of choice but a way to ensure that the printer firmware doesn’t do DRM and that g-code programs can be executed as often as desired.
3D printers are CNC machines and however awkward that language is, it is the standard for controlling CNC machines.

As an exchange format the best choice is still to be found.
It will probably stay with STEP and STL as the lowest common denominators for meshes and for CSG.

CNC is held back by logo gcode.

invent something better that is as universal.
As I said, it’s not ideal. It can hardly react to sensor input or form loops for repeated features and isn’t very well standardized. But it exists.

We’ve been through this first with software then with media; seems like we could learn our lesson without having to do it a third time right? :slight_smile: