Copyright, 3D Printing, and Giant Robots

182497860_4640969763_oEveryone loves giant robots, at least from what we can tell from the recent success of the movie Pacific Rim at theatres.  Some special effects guys got in on the giant robot bandwagon at Comic Con and describe how they used open source software, borrowed and improved on the ideas of others and employed 3D printing technology to boot – all things we love here at the Roundup.  Visit the link via our friends at Copyfight.

New video from Vice discusses 3D Printing of Guns by Defense Distributed

No matter on which side of the gun control debate you fall on the quickly approaching ability to

3D printed gun part

3D printed gun part

3D print guns at home should be of interest. We have discussed copyright implications of 3D printing and scanning here at the Roundup  before  and while this video from Vice does not discuss those implications it does discuss the disruptive implications of 3D printing in an area that is subject to regulation by both state and federal governments. It will be interesting to see what the response to 3D printing in this particular case will be – will governments (federal, state, or local) be quick to pass legislation/ordinances banning 3D printing of weapons (unlikely and such bans would most likely be difficult enforce). If the actual manufacturing of certain objects will be difficult to enforce what about copyright infringement claims – how would those be enforced if everyone with a computer and an (increasingly cheaper) 3D printer is able to print objects cheaply out of their homes? Here is the link to the Vice video.

3D Gun printer becomes licensed fire arm manufacturer

AP_Constitution_Article1Section8_CommerceClauseDefense Distributed, the Austin, Texas, based 3D gun printing group, has applied for and received a federal license to manufacture fire arms. No matter how  you feel about guns I believe this development clearly illustrates the potentially disruptive power of 3D printing to not only established manufacturing paradigms but also to the ability of governments to regulate and control.  One of the pillars of the federal government power is the ability to regulate interstate commerce – that is the shipping of goods from one state to another. But if I can manufacture any item – be it a gun or say an ear – does the federal government have the power to regulate these emerging practices? One can almost be assured that 3D printing will upend the logistics of traditional manufacturing – why build a car and ship it hundreds or thousands of miles when you can print it and drive it off the lot – that may be a somewhat fanciful example at this point but probably not in a too distant future. Read more about Defense Distributed here from Ars Technica.