Another Legal Tangle for 3D Printing

By on December 27th, 2012 in Ideas


Dezeen interviewed writer Adrian Mars, who brings up an interesting legal complication that potentially could derail some 3D printing ventures. 
We’ve written in the past regarding the “copy” issue. The technology exists to digitally capture the external shape of almost any object using advanced 3D scanning equipment – and once a 3D model is available, it can be 3D printed, thus duplicating the object in a manner reminiscent of camcorder video piracy. 
The new twist proposed by Mars is that of insurance. Consider the following scenario: 
What if you 3D print a car and somebody and it causes an accident due to a design fault or a computer design fault? Thousands of people may have contributed bits of that car. Who regulates it? How do the insurance companies deal with it? Are you responsible because you put it together and printed it? It needs to be debated and thought about. It’s going to be the same for bikes and aircraft.
Sharing 3D models is not going to be as easy as many people may think. Things seem to work well now, but what will happen after the first mega-lawsuit? Will people be as free to share models? Will they insist on reading verbose disclaimers and ticking sign-offs before you download a model? Which models are most likely affected by insurance considerations? Parts? Artwork? 
Yes, things are just now getting interesting. 
Via Dezeen
Image Credit: Fotopedia

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!