Posted On: 2016-04-29 02:16:35 ; Read: 588 time(s)

Protect Your 3D Printable Designs Via IP

Copyright, 3D printing, intellectual property protection and the idea for micro-licensing developed by Source3


We have discussed the issue of copyright and patents many times in relation with 3D printing. And, indeed, the fast advance of additive manufacturing technologies, their fast spreading all over the world and the countless websites offering 3D printable designs, it’s not surprising that the legislation can’t catch up and falls behind 3D printing in general.

However, when it comes to copyright, intellectual property and the way these things are understood by different people from both ‘sides of the fence’, there’s always been discussion and controversial aspects. And, in fact, even though we’re going to focus on 3D printing, the issues with intellectual property are still not completely solved for other much more popular and widespread industries such as movie-making, music, books, etc. that have been around for many more years already than the comparatively new 3D printing.


Of course, some prefer to secure their inventions and try to add trademarks on their 3D printables. Others, however, try to use IP recognition and IP licensing services and thus enable users to get paid for the things they’ve created and made available online. Such example is Source3.

According to the company’s motto, there’s no need for both parties potentially involved in a legal battle over intellectual property such as a 3D printing design, to pay money on lawyers and spend time for court. They don’t also have to always look for unauthorized products on the Internet. Source3 provides a better option that, at least at first glance, fits both parties. The creators are given what’s called “micro-licensing” options to authorize their creations, and those who want to use them have to pay something to the actual maker. However, whether this works or not is debatable and it obviously doesn’t solve all 3D printing copyright issues. But it’s an easy way for creators to secure their creations and it’s worth checking out.


In fact, the project for the micro-licensing tools has been developed by Source3 with the help and support of Epic Rights. The whole process is based on the IP of those who upload things via protected IPs. This is quite innovative as Source3 are the first to apply such authorizing method for 3D printable content online.

Even though many countries have not yet adopted any copyright protection for 3D printable media, this doesn’t make it legal. Owners of designs, creators and engineers can still sue those who use their intellectual property without permission and it would be nice if people learn once and for all that intellectual property is just like any other property and using it without permission is violation, just like breaking into a house.

Protect Your 3D Printable Designs Via IP