on May 13th, 2016

Who is leading the charge in the 3D printing world? The answer may be revealed at the 3D Manufacturing Event hosted by RAPID, the authority on 3D printing, scanning and additive manufacturing on an industrial level. 

The keynotes that are going to be delivered on the 16th to the 19th of May, 2016, include:

  • Transition to production
  • Next generation manufacturing: Leveraging the digital thread
  • 4D printing in Medicine: Developing medical devices for the growing patient
  • The future of additive manufacturing and 3D printing

The event is expected to see a new piece of software that will reportedly astound the industry. The name of the software is Materialise Magics 3D Print Suit. 

The event should clear up some of the details of the industry that manufacturers would like to hear about before they take the plunge and invest money into 3D printers. 

To see the software in action, check out the video below:

A company that is trying to capitalize on the 3D printing hobbyist movement is a company named Sculpteo.  The company conducted a study to measure the rise of 3D printing hobbyists who are actively looking into casual 3D printing just for the fun of it. What they found was that the most hobbyists are from Europe, a staggering 55% of their responses. In at 40% was North America. The study had 300 respondents. Forty-six percent of the respondents said that they were first-time 3D printing hobbyists whilst the others had already begun delving into the world of 3D printing. 

As 3D printing is growing, the concern over intellectual property and copyright have arisen in the engineers who are crafting these printers' minds. Michael Wineberg is from a 3D printing company called Shapeways and they run an industrial 3D printer that takes orders and requests - and then ships the finished product off to customers. He spoke to PBS' Idea Channel and said: "With 3D printing there are lots of objects that are protected by copyright because they are non-functional, creative works but there are also a lot of objects that are functional works that are categorically excluded from copyright protection because they're functional works."

Wineberg refers to engineers when they are printing something that serves a functional purpose. If it's a door hinge, a screw, a cog or something that has a functional purpose it is usually outside of the scope of copyright. But, if you're going to print an Action Man doll, there might be some copyright infringement that occurs. 

Therefore, if you are to become one of the enthusiasts buying themselves a 3D printer for hobbyist uses, remember to be mindful about copyright infringement. 

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