How Big Business is Stymying Makers’ High-Res, Colorful Innovations
If you’re waiting for desktop additive-manufacturing technology to move closer to professional-level results, be prepared to wait for a very long time.
The past year was a breakout for desktop 3-D printing. MakerBot released two new models, Formlabs debuted the first prosumer 3-D printer to use high-accuracy stereolithography, and a slew of innovative, printed projects lifted awareness and desirability of additive manufacturing for the general public.
But the year ended with a legal hiccup. Formlabs will be dealing with a patent infringement lawsuitbrought against them by 3D Systems, one of the biggest players in the industry. The hobbyist segment of the industry has been built on the back of expired patents, but as the Electronic Frontier Foundation has pointed out, many patents that will be required to advance the state of the art will not expire for years or even a decade.