After receiving a great deal of flack upon launch, in regards to the selling of unauthorized designs, 3D printable marketplace 3DLT has partnered with Authentise to stream its 3D files to customers. 3DLT has been trying to get back into the public’s good graces, first implementing a 3D part search engine from 3D Industries to “further validate the intellectual property ownership of files it receives from designers, making 3DLT.com one of the most secure and trusted marketplaces in 3D printing.” The company’s latest partnership with the streaming service will ensure that 3D files are not stored on a customer’s computer, but, instead, streamed via the web to the printer itself.
Authentise is similar to FabSecure and Secure3D in that customers print directly from the cloud. By streaming a print to a 3D printer, without allowing customers to download the 3D files themselves, ensures a one-time print. In turn, this prevents customers from potentially modifying the files, uploading them to a file sharing site of their own, or printing multiple copies and selling them without a license.
CEO of 3DLT, John Hauer explains, “From the beginning, 3DLT has been focused on delivering 3D printable content. The streaming technology provided by Authentise provides us with an important new licensing option, helping 3DLT better control the use of digital assets offered on our platform. Intellectual property rights management is an important part of 3DLT’s offering Building on our earlier collaboration with 3D Industri.es, we’re not only taking proactive steps to validate IP ownership, but with Authentise, also better securing the designs available on our platform. Retailers stand to gain a significant competitive advantage by offering 3D printing as-a-service. These partnerships reinforce the value of 3DLT’s platform in helping them capitalize on that opportunity.”
By incorporating the streaming service, 3DLT is both erasing its IP-infringing past and positioning itself as a modern 3D printables marketplace. Large companies and small designers alike will no doubt want to ensure the protection of their intellectual property and will seek out a site with 3DLT’s specific services on which to sell their goods. And, because Authentise has roots at Singularity University and is based at NASA Ames Research Park, 3DLT has associated itself with what may be a namebrand streaming service. Coupled with 3DLT’s distributed network of 500+ maker-owned printers through makexyz, the company is anticipating the trend of distributed manufacturing as well as IP fears.
Personally, I grew up with Napster, Kazaa, and BitTorrent, so I find IP law a bit outdated to begin with. If it’s not free somewhere on the Internet, it’s not worth having anyway.