3D printing sparks copyright concerns

3D printing design sharing led to copyright claims

A refined 3D-modeled version of the Penrose Triangle optical illusion, by [[xref:http://www.thingiverse.com/chylld|Thingiverse user 'chylld']].

A refined 3D-modeled version of the Penrose Triangle optical illusion, by [[xref:http://www.thingiverse.com/chylld|Thingiverse user 'chylld']].

A legal battle threatened to break out last week after a 3D modeller initially claimed copyright on a design he created for use with a 3D printer. The design is based on the famous Penrose triangle optical illusion.

A post on BoingBoing explains the situation — 3D modeller Ulrich Schwanitz, known as user ‘trompevenlo’ on 3D modelling forum Shapeways, created a 3D printout based on the ‘impossible triangle’ optical illusion. After a video of the shape was released, Artur Tchoukanov worked out how to create the shape and uploaded instructions to the Thingiverse Web site, another repository of 3D models and content.

Schwanitz sent the Thingiverse Web site operators a DMCA takedown notice asserting copyright over the design, but later withdrew the complaint after deciding to release his design into the public domain. The Penrose Triangle illusion exists in the public domain and can be modified or reproduced without any copyright infringement, but Schwanitz’s initial claims suggested he wished to maintain copyright over his 3D interpretation. Schwanitz moderated his position when it was established similar or near-identical creations could be made based on the original Penrose Triangle illusion, without infringing his copyright.

Several derivative designs have since been created based on the Penrose Triangle design, including by Sydney-based 3D modeller Jonathan Wong — who has created both a refined version of Schwanitz’s original triangle model, and what he calls a Penrose cube.

Concerns over copyright and 3D printers has surfaced in the past, with enterprising users theoretically able to reproduce patented designs through reverse engineering and intensive modelling work.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Printers3d printing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?