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Will 3D printing kill IP?

Lucas Mearian | Sept. 20, 2013
Free sharing of designs through P2P and 3D printing could make trademarking irrelevant, experts say.

"Today, the do-it-yourself [3D printer owning] community gets designs for free," Benster said, so people won't expect to pay much if plans are offered for a price.

"I think to prevent the Napsterization of 3D printing, you need ease of use and the ability to find the specific solution you're looking for online," Benster said, citing Pirate Bay

More important, he added, 3D printing users want to cut through "the crap" design plans that are on the Internet today and just get the ones that work.

Thingiverse, a website that facilitates the sharing of user-created digital design files, has many designs that aren't printable, and that were designed by people who don't have 3D printers, Benster said.

In order to ensure they are getting quality designs, Benster said users would likely be willing to pay a buck or two like they do for music and smart phone apps today.


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