Trade Secrets – 3D Printers can actually help PREVENT counterfeiting!

A story at Entrepreneur details how low-cost 3D printers are helping small businesses prototype their new products and become more competitive. But what’s really cool is this section which runs contrary to the popular view that 3D printers are nothing…

3D Printing Patents Expire – RepRap Moves In

If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I’m a bit obsessed with answering the “why now?” question regarding 3D printing, particularly framing the current state of the industry in the context of expiring patents (see here, and here).…

Not the final word on 3D printing guns

“3D printing is a terrible technology for the working components of a gun. There is no tensile strength. It would blow up in your face. You can buy guns in Walmart — they are not a scarce product. And if…

Smooth Moves: How to Avoid Getting Blocked (by 3D Printing Patents)

3D printing, in particular the low-cost kind, often means accepting the fact that your printed parts are often going to look kind of rough, with perceptible lines/bumps marking each layer that was printed to form the object. Smoothing is one…

Is Off-Patent, Low-Cost 3D Printing Competition SLOWING Innovation?

There’s a post on 3ders today about how 3D printing impacts shoemakers Reebok and Puma. The general point of the post is that shoe manufacturers have been using 3D printing for a long time. But there’s a particularly interesting quote…

Prizes vs. Patents: 83-Year-Old Wins $40k for Low-Cost 3D Printing Solution

There’s an amazing story at Time about an 83-year-old inventor named Hugh Lyman who entered a Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation-affiliated entrepreneurial competition called the Desktop Factory Competition. The problem that Lyman set out to solve is the high cost of…