3D printers are gradually working their way into the mainstream, and as they do so concerns regarding intellectual property and the theft of blueprints have increasingly become the substance of conversation. One startup company in California, Authentise, is offering a solution to this issue however, creating software that streams blueprint information directly to the printer.
The Authentise software works by sending parts of the blueprint to a printer as the object is being printed, with only the information that is needed in the moment being sent, then immediately deleted after read. Because of this, all of the blueprint's data is not provided in whole, and a raw design file is never in the hands of the person printing.
According to Andre Wegner, co-founder and CEO of Authentise, the startup has been in talks with "a number of people" in regards to its technology and a system for enabling the purchase of designs over the Web, with the system having "iTunes-like functionality." Which people the business has been in talks with, however, wasn't specified, with it only being said that companies like Disney could use the system.
With this system, someone could then buy the blueprint for a design for a small fee, using the data once to print the object. SendShapes, a version of Authentise's technology, will be launching in September, and will require users to download an application for receiving the design and passing it on to a 3D printer.
Will the system make it impossible for someone to rip off blueprints? Not likely, but Wegner said that the system itself aims to provide incentive against that, making it inexpensive and easy for someone to buy and print an object rather than pirate the data.
SOURCE: MIT Technology Review