Thingiverse is a place for you to share your digital designs with the world. We believe that just as computing shifted away from the mainframe into the personal computer that you use today, digital fabrication will share the same path. In fact, it is already happening: laser cutters, cnc machines, 3D printers, and even automated paper cutters are all getting cheaper by the day. These machines are useful for a huge variety of things, but you need to supply them with a digital design in order to get anything useful out of them. We're hoping that together we can create a community of people who create and share designs freely, so that all can benefit from them.
Once 3d printers can make most things, I suppose that retailers won't selling physical objects, but simply instructions for producing the relevant item at home. I suppose for any claim:
1. Object X
patent attorneys should then be thinking harder about claims to:
2. A set of instructions which when run on a 3d printer leads to production of object X.
Clearly, such claims have lots of issues, but perhaps they could be worded in ways where they are more acceptable to patent offices.
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