What’s a 3D Printing revolution if companies go around suing each other for alleged patent infringement? Not much of one at all. This is the sentiment Joshua Harker is passing along in a recent letter to backers. You saw his new Anatomica di Revolutis Kickstarter campaign wherein a video compilation featured the “Top Brass” of the 3D Print industry, including 3D Systems, saying, “Join the Revolution”. Now 3D Systems is out.
Suing != Revolution
3D Systems is suing Formlabs and Kickstarter for the Form 1 3D Printer project. Josh sent out an update on his new project about his discovery of the lawsuit, his struggle and reasoning over the decision to remove 3D Systems from the campaign:
I am not a lawyer & I have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes or of the overall validity of claims for either side. I can only say that my message of revolution is about empowering the individual & the technologies & networks which support that. The inclusion of all the big name players & brightest stars was intended to demonstrate a sense of community in the field.
So, I have decided to remove 3D Systems from my presentation. This is not an attempt to sway opinion or harm them in any way but rather to distance myself from looking like I’m making some kind of endorsement or have an affiliation without knowing all the facts, especially given the context, timing, & place where this is all playing out. With the press release already live I felt the need to leave a statement of reference.
[emphasis in original]
So, 3D Systems is out of the 3D Printing revolution–at least from the indirect, we like the publicity and saying ‘join the revolution’ point-of-view. Good move by Josh? At a time when 3D Printers are coming out left and right, Kickstarter campaigns are likely to spur on lawsuits and lawsuits are likely to spur on innovation to get around the lawsuits. I can’t help but wonder if 3D Systems has injected a small amount of fear into the DIY community. What do you think?