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Submission + - The Patents That Threaten 3-D Printing (

An anonymous reader writes: We've watched patents slow down the smartphone and tablet markets. We've seen patent claims thrown against Linux, Android, and countless other software projects. Now, as 3-D printing becomes more capable and more affordable, it seems a number of patents threaten to do the same to the hobbyist and tinkerer crowd. Wired has highlighted some of the most dangerous ones, including: a patent on soluble print materials that support a structure while it's being printed; a ridiculously broad patent on distributed rapid prototyping, which could affect "every 3-D printing service that has launched in the past few years"; and an 18-year-old patent on 3-D printing using a powder and a binding material, held by MIT.
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The Patents That Threaten 3-D Printing

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"The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty. You might want to mug someone with it." -- M. Devine, Computer Science 340