Startup Fabulonia has a new concept that could provide significant protection to designers fearful of losing control of their works.
As we understand it, Fabulonia will operate as a repository of 3D models submitted by (hopefully famous and notable) 3D designers. Consumers will be able to search, select and purchase a "print" from the repository for production on their personal 3D printer.
This is where it gets a little different. The "print" is actually streamed to the 3D printer. The consumer never receives the original 3D model. This is quite different from the typical repository, where STL files are simply downloaded and printed.
And printed again. And maybe sold, too. That's where the problem lies for designers who have spent considerable time preparing their models. So far, Fabulonia seems to have signed up a number of 3D designers as listed on their site. They'll receive royalties, we presume, as site visitors purchase their models.
We're not certain how the Fabulonia system works, but we suspect they may be generating some type of self-destructing GCODE for specific machines and streaming it to printers. We'll find out more when they launch.