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3D printing spins confusion at copyrights

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D printing?

No matter which market analysis firm you go to, it will paint rosy picture for 3D printer and consumables market. Not that they often come out with reports that show doom and gloom, they do appear to be particularly excited about this market.

IDTechEx predicts the total consumable market for 3D printing materials will reach $8 billion by 2025, no less than a ten-fold increase from 2013's $800 million. 3D printing is no longer a rapid prototyping niche but an increasingly mass customisation solution for regular production flows.

There isn't a week that passes-by without new 3D printing claimsfaster, cheaper, more precise, more materials capabilities, more volume capacity, more colours, etc.and at any given time, crowd-funding sites, such as KickStarter and IndieGogo, typically host dozens of new 3D printer concepts.

But before you can print, you need a 3D model, an easy task for a CAD professional in an engineering company, but less so for the consumer. Hardware and software, however, are catching up fast in the consumer space.

As scan-to-print gets easier, 3D printers are beginning to spin out a confusion of copyright issues business models from their ABS spools.

Here we look at the current and upcoming capabilities of 3D scanners that help you "copy" designs for your 3D printing needs. And we talk to the industry to see how 3D printing is confounding IP protection.

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