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CAD/CAM Corner
Lulzbot AO-101 3D Printer Ready to Use out of the Box
2/18/2013

Lulzbot AO-101 3D printer in action, pulling plastic off a reel.   (Source: Aleph Objects)
Lulzbot AO-101 3D printer in action, pulling plastic off a reel.
(Source: Aleph Objects)

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Andreas Tanda
User Rank
Silver
Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Andreas Tanda   2/18/2013 2:11:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Cabe - thank you for this article. It is always surprising to see how the topic of 3D printing evolves and that these systems are getting cheaper and cheaper. So we reach a level where everyone can afford such a piece of interesting hardware. Therefore it would be interesting to see how people will deal with ideas like: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=8,286,236.PN.&OS=PN/8,286,236&RS=PN/8,286,236 .   

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Cabe Atwell   2/18/2013 2:48:54 PM
NO RATINGS
That is quite the patent. Sum it up for us is a few sentences. :)

I have a feeling that a 3D printer comes with a certain level of buyer's remorse.

C

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Larry M   2/19/2013 9:15:59 AM
NO RATINGS
The patent seems to require that CAD files include an authorization code and that the 3D printer will not print unless it accepts the authorization code. There's no need for such a code on a personal printer.  No code-->No infringement.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Larry M   2/19/2013 9:16:24 AM
NO RATINGS
The patent seems to require that CAD files include an authorization code and that the 3D printer will not print unless it accepts the authorization code. There's no need for such a code on a personal printer.  No code-->No infringement.

Steve Heckman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Steve Heckman   2/19/2013 9:36:14 AM
NO RATINGS
The use of such a code would imply someone selling 3D CAD designs with the specific intent for them to be printed, or a private company wanting to protect their designs from "outsiders". This would in no way stop someone from creating their own 3D model on their own. They would just have to work harder.

sam_who
User Rank
Iron
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
sam_who   2/19/2013 9:34:29 AM
NO RATINGS
descent? ... decent, maybe?  

Analog Bill
User Rank
Gold
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Analog Bill   2/19/2013 11:21:42 AM
NO RATINGS
"descent" is a noun meaning going down or coming down ... it looked a little weird to me, too, but it's proper use.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Public Knowledge and 3D Printing
Cabe Atwell   2/19/2013 4:56:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Patents that restrict progress and innovation are not high on my list to celebrate. Any software protection can be side-stepped, so good luck with enforcement. I am sure that "Physibles" will require some level of protection, someday. Right now, it's the wild-west in this area.

C

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Nice one
Elizabeth M   2/19/2013 5:23:03 AM
NO RATINGS
Even the at-home genius inventor needs some technical help once in awhile. :) At a fairly affordable price, this intuitive printer should help even the least tech-savvy hobbyist creator give life to designs. It sounds pretty handy.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Material Costs?
Jack Rupert, PE   2/25/2013 3:56:26 PM
NO RATINGS
The price of the device that is given in the articles seems very reasonable for the serious at-home inventor or small shop.  Any idea what the raw material costs and/or if you are required to use material specifically made for that printer?  Just wondering if the business model is the same as for desktop printer where the hardware is reasonable (or cheap) but they get you on the supplies?

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Material Costs?
Cabe Atwell   2/26/2013 4:31:20 PM
NO RATINGS
I am sure it is by weight. Typically, plastic spools go for around $18-35/kg. Every company seems to shy away from guaranteeing length. But, if you know the volume of the part you want to build, it is almost a 1:1 transfer of material.

C

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Material Costs?
Jack Rupert, PE   2/28/2013 2:04:28 PM
NO RATINGS
So, are you saying that this device can use basically any "compatible" materical or are they tied to specific proprietary blends?

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Material Costs?
Cabe Atwell   3/5/2013 3:13:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Lulzbot says, "The LulzBot AO-101 is one of the few desktop 3D printers on the market that can print with ABS and PLA plastics. With some simple adjustments, you can print with a wide array of experimental materials like wood filament, nylon, polycarbonate, polystyrene, and glow-in-the-dark materials. "

I am sure they will have to verify the type of materials first. So, I don't think this will be printing stainless steel from spools any time soon.

C

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