Questions before I start creating

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PixelWell, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. PixelWell
    PixelWell New Member
    Hi guys an gals.

    New to shapeways community but not new to the concepts behind shape ways. I have started considering making a small detailed widget as a test project. I've been a 3D hobbiest for over 5 years now and know my way around 3D programs like Revit and 3Ds Max, however I am now interested in taking my models a step further.

    Originally I thought my first 3D print project was going to be a clients home renovation. However I hesitate to do so on a clients dime without fully understanding the process first.

    My widget model is going to be made with 3 different materials with 6 separate parts. My biggest challenge is crafting a cap that screws down. What program should I be looking at that would best make the screw cap. Autodesk Inventor? Is this the program I should be looking?

    Further more. Some parts in my design are akin to rubber or plastic with chrome finish or simply hard plastic. Can this be possible with shape ways?

    Can different color dyes be possible? I see a lot of white and a lot of chrome when I review the stock, are these our only options?

    What about protecting material? Copyright etc. If my device is new should I be worried about patenting it before I release it to shapeways?
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    The Shapeways printers can only print one material at a time. You can't co-mingle different materials into a single model.
    If your model can be printed as separate peices, then you can set them up as separate models, and then order the different peices in the different materials.

    Shapeways also doesn't have any material like rubber.

    Color? The Strong&Flexible material (Nylon) can be dyed in a range of colors that you can see on the Materials page.

    Full Color Sandstone is exactly what it sounds like.. It's got the full range of colors (like your inkjet printer), but it's finish is very rough and is made of gypsum - not plastic.

    It sounds a bit like you're thinking of some food storage/handling item.. only the ceramic material here is rated for foods.. the other materias are inappropriate for food.

    You must maintain/manage your own IP rights. If it matters that much, get a patent first. If you keep the model private, Shapeways will not allow anyone to see it, and it will remain private, but if you make it public, then anyone could copy the concept, and Shapeways offers no protections from others copying the idea.
  3. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Yeah, Inventor would do that no problem. You could even find threads that are already made and there are probably specialized commands just for making threads in Inventor. Max and Revit can do it too, manually, but you're better off going with a solid modeler like Inventor whenever doing something like what you're describing.

    In addition to filing for a patent or filing for a provisional patent you can have different companies make the different parts so that no one company has your overall design.
  4. victorrings
    victorrings Well-Known Member
    in a way shapeways does provide a simple intellectual property rights protection. it establishes a timeline on creation. the moment of upload is time stamped. this is sort of akin to emailing yourself an object(picture, illustration, rendering, whatever) establishing a timeline of creation... known as a poor man's copyright.
  5. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Disregard the following as the law changed yesterday; a patent law we've used here in the US for over 150 years. :D

    This is true especially for copyright but also applies to US patents in two ways. In the US we have what's called first to invent. So any proof one has whatsoever related to the time of conception can help one in the case of an interference. An interference is when two or more inventors file for a patent at around the same time for an invention that is basically the same. They don't go by who filed first, what they go by is who thought of the invention first so any evidence one has proving the time of conception is very valuable.

    The other main way the US patent office will use information posted to Shapeways and in this forum an just about anywhere else online is a term called prior art. They are reading this forum and just about everything else that is publicly available online. So lets say I mention an invention of some kind like this.

    Hey I wonder if fire ants can be caused to leave an area via bombarding them with ultrasonic sound waves?

    Say hello to the US patent office! Hello patent examiner! *waves* :laughing:

    They are from now on going to read that sentence whenever looking for prior art on inventions related to ants in association with ultrasonic sound waves. If this were an actual invention of mine, I would have one year from the time of the date on this post to file for a patent. If I failed to file for a patent within one year the USPTO would find that sentence and consider it prior art greater than one year and wouldn't allow my application. This is cuz the USPTO will not allow a patent for anything that has been publicly known for more than a year.

    Don't rely on what I'm saying here as these are just things off the top of my head and I wouldn't even rely on this information myself without double checking everything and or consulting a patent attorney. :)
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  6. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    From this article on wirde.comAmerica Invents Act:

  7. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member

    I need to get out of the bat cave more! HAHAHA!!! :laughing:

    I did catch ear of the America Invents Act, but I've never looked into it. This changes everything! I'll be spending the next few weeks looking into all of the implications of this. :eek:

    For those interested in the changes go here: Watch the four videos at the bottom of the page for a simplified explanation of the main changes.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  8. PixelWell
    PixelWell New Member
    Thanks for all the feedback, being in Canada I'm not sure how to go about filing for a patent. But I'll look into it over the week. I'm reluctant to share this idea with anyone just yet. This "first to file" versus "first to invent" has got me worried on how to proceed.

    I may still use shapeways to create a prototype. But they don't have some of the material I need to create a few of the parts. Mainly silicone.