December 14, 2012 | By Julie Samuels

We Need Your Help! Join Our Fight to Keep 3D Printing Open

A few weeks ago, we asked for your help to identify patent applications that threaten to stifle innovation in the 3D printing community. Now more than ever, it's critical to make sure the free and open source community and others who work in the space have freedom to operate and to continue to innovate.

With your help, we have identified a lineup of top-priority patent applications that seem both overly-broad and dangerous to the free and open source community. Now it's time to find proof that these patent applicants do not deserve the monopolies they are asking for: that what they are trying to patent was known or was obvious before the patent was filed.

Specifically, we need documents published before the filing date of each application. Web pages, emails, journal articles, or patents are all appropriate documents, as long as they were reasonably public. An email to a friend is not public, but an email to a large mailing list likely is, particularly if the mailing list was open for anyone to join. If the date of publication is not clear from the face of the document,  we'll need to submit evidence of the date for the reference to count.

For each of the applications below, we've described the prior art we think would be most helpful. If you think we're missing something important about one of these applications, don't hesitate to write in and let us know. We're counting on your expertise. Please email 3Dprinting@eff.org with any submissions and, if appropriate, let us know which target you think it applies to. Thanks!

Target 1: U.S. PATENT APP. NO. 12/976,111
PRINT HEAD ASSEMBLY FOR USE IN FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING SYSTEM

This application relates to inkjet-style removable print head cartridges used in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing. 

More details here.

Target 2: U.S. PATENT APP. NO. 12/976,204
PRINT HEAD FOR USE IN FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING SYSTEM 

This application relates to a print head cartridge with a liquefier pump assembly for use in FDM printing. 

More details here.

Target 3: U.S. PATENT APP. NO. 12/687,996

METHOD FOR GENERATING AND BUILDING SUPPORT STRUCTURES WITH DEPOSITION-BASED DIGITAL MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS

This application relates to a method of building up support structures layer-by-layer for 3D-printed objects.

More details here.

Target 4: U.S. PATENT APP. NO. 13/043,876
BUILD MATERIALS AND APPLICATIONS THEREOF

This blandly-titled application relates to 3D printing with a material that can be cured (particularly with UV light), and also claims every object that is printed with such a method.

More details here.


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