Dec.4, 2012

Everyone in the 3D printing world is discussing about the 3D Systems / Formlabs / Kickstarter lawsuit. Because the patent issues, most of personal 3D printer manufacturers use fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. Somehow Formlabs used the SLA (stereolithography) technology patented by 3D Systems and they got sued for patent infringement. As the same time, 3D Systems also sued Kickstarter for co-selling the Formlabs' 3D printer.

While we are all waiting to see how Formlabs and Kickstarter react to the lawsuit, one of the 3D printing movement's most recognized and successful artists, Joshua Harker took his step. For his recent project "Anatomica di Revolutis", Joshua have a host of industry leaders & other notables that have contributed to the project video, including 3D Systems, saying ""Join the Revolution" chorus to close Harker's video presentation.

I am not a lawyer & I have no idea what's happening behind the scenes or of the overall validity of claims for either side. I can only say that my message of revolution is about empowering the individual & the technologies & networks which support that. The inclusion of all the big name players & brightest stars was intended to demonstrate a sense of community in the field.

Joshua decided to remove 3D Systems from his presentation.

 

This is not an attempt to sway opinion or harm them in any way but rather to distance myself from looking like I'm making some kind of endorsement or have an affiliation without knowing all the facts, especially given the context, timing, & place where this is all playing out.

 

The inspiration for Joshua's project is the "Third Industrial Revolution", which is not limited to 3D printing, but also include those DIY communities, open source projects, powerful free consumer level software, online social networks, & crowd funding. If Kickstarter got sued in such a case, it will certainly slow down the innovation process. How many 3D printing projects can still be listed on such a crowdfunding site in the future? Meanwhile it is also not realistic to ask a company like Kickstarter to do a full patent infringement review on all projects waiting for crowdfunding.

 

While this whole thing is not directly about me, it has put me in a shit situation given what I'm professing as well as the integrity & credibility I wish to keep. This may illustrate better than I could have ever presented the need for supporting the "DIY Makers" & the technologies that enable their innovation & independence. Seems like this revolution may have some teeth but unfortunately it's already looking to feed on itself. Time will clear the field.

 

 

Thanks Elza for the tip!

 

Source: Kickstarter

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

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