Earlier this year we checked out a pair of 3D printers modified to scan, replicate and then destroy an object. The idea is to preserve a product’s rarity – and thus its value – in the age of 3D printing. The folks behind the 3D printing marketplace Pinshape might have a better idea: stream the design files directly to the customer’s printer.
As you’ll see in the demo video below – which doesn’t discuss the new streaming feature – Pinshape is a combination of Thingiverse and Shapeways. Designers can share their 3D models away for free or for profit.
But thanks to its partnership with 3DPrinterOS, Pinshipe is able to offer vendors a new option: streaming. With streaming, you can still set your model to be free or paid, but once a customer chooses your model a printing interface will pop up where the customer can adjust their printer’s parameters and then print the object straight away. They get to print the object, you get to keep your 3D model.
Of course the customer can still scan his print of your design and make a 3D model out of the scan, but there’s nothing anyone can do to prevent that part. Besides, that extra step may be enough to discourage or lessen unauthorized copying. Head to Pinshape’s website for more information.