Feeds

Patent suit targets Formlabs and Kickstarter

3D Systems lays out claim over stereolithography

Reducing security risks from open source software

As the world turns increasingly into one in which nobody can do anything without being sued by someone, 3D Systems is suing Formlabs and Kickstarter over alleged patent infringement covering 3D printing.

Formlabs had pimped its project on Kickstarter, raising nearly $US3 million towards its aim of developing a low-cost 3D printer. Founded by MIT MediaLab researchers, the project’s explicit aim is to “disrupt” the world of 3D printing.

It’s certainly disrupted 3D Systems, which has filed a complaint in the US District Court of South Carolina. 3D Systems alleges that Formlabs’ stereolithographic 3D printing techniques violate its patents, including “U.S. Patent No. 5,597,520 covering improved methods of stereolithographically forming a three-dimensional object by forming cross-sectional layers of an object from a material capable of physical transformation upon exposure to synergistic stimulation”.

Kickstarter has been dragged into the complaint as the vehicle by which Formlabs plans to sell its printer.

Stereolithography uses a UV laser to solidify layers of resin – a common additive manufacturing technique. According to the BBC, the 3D Systems patent solved a particular problem in stereolithographic printing: how to deal with the problem of layers that failed to solidify.

The company says Formlabs’ infringement is in its “offering a 3D printer using specific stereolithography curing technology that can produce parts by delaying the curing of at least portions of some cross-sections until subsequent layers are formed and when sufficient exposure can be applied to achieve the desired depth of cure” – something that 3D Systems owns via its “520” patent.

Its complaint also cites a handful of news articles, including at Solidsmack and TechCrunch, to suggest that Formlabs has been lax in its patent searches. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.