Feature: The next Napster? Copyright questions as 3D printing comes of age

5 04 2011

April 5, 2011

The Penrose Triangle is as elegant as it is impossible—much like M.C. Escher’s drawings, it presents a two-dimensional illusion that the eye interprets as three-dimensional. The task of effectively creating this illusion in three dimensions, without resorting to hidden openings or gimmicky twists, seemed daunting until a Netherlands-based designer named Ulrich Schwanitz succeeded in printing the object recently. But Schwanitz, who posted a YouTube video of his design achievement in action, wouldn’t share his secret with the world. Instead, he made his “impossible triangle” available for purchase through Shapeways, a company that fabricates custom 3D designs, for $70.

Within weeks of Schwanitz’s “discovery,” however, a 3D modeler (and former Shapeways intern) named Artur Tchoukanov watched the video and figured out how to recreate the shape. He then uploaded instructions to Thingiverse, an open-source repository of 3D models and content. BoingBoing picked up the story (well, part of it), and “wrongly” credited Tchoukanov as the initial creator of the object.


The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/04/the-next-napster-copyright-questions-as-3d-printing-comes-of-age/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



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