DRM won’t cripple 3D printing


Some regulation in 3D printing is coming. However, it should be nowhere near as onerous as DRM, and may create whole new distribution channels.

A company like Boeing, for example, might not just stream parts to a manufacturer. If it were confident the design would stay safe, it could sell pieces directly to remote airports, letting them perform repairs immediately instead of waiting on a slow or unreliable supply chain. Buyers, meanwhile, can be sure that their parts are coming straight from a trusted source.

And don’t worry about 3D-printing a replica of Donald Duck. Disney probably doesn’t care, so long as the replicas aren’t being mass-produced.