As the 3D printing market grows, there are major concerns, I’m sure, in Washington DC about where the technology is headed, as well as a wave of optimism about where this technology can take the country from a manufacturing perspective. Yesterday, the House Small Business Committee had a hearing titled, “The Rise of 3D Printing: Opportunities of Entrepreneurs.”
The main purpose of the hearing was to discuss ways in which government can help the industry grow, as well as make sure that they do not get in the way of that growth. On hand were several executives within the industry, which included, Patrick O’Neill, CEO, Olloclip LLC, Jonathon Cobb, executive vice president, Public Affairs, Stratasys Inc., Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO, Shapeaways, and Jan Baum, executive director, 3D Maryland, Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship.
Jonathan Cobb, discussed with the committee how Stratasys has helped dozens of companies save millions of dollars in the last few years, by turning them onto the latest additive manufacturing machines. Cobb testified,
“We take pride in stories like this. To us, they demonstrate that we are not just in the business of producing 3D machines, we are also helping empower entrepreneurs by bringing manufacturing into their homes and workplaces.”
Shapeways CEO, Peter Weijmarshausen, discussed with the committee, ways in which they assure that the 100,000+ new designs they receive onto their site each month are free of copyright concerns, as well as ways in which copyrights can be protected as the industry grows. He also suggested having some sort of method to work with the DMCA to avoid patent issues on Shapeways.com as well as other design marketplaces.
In order for government to avoid stifling growth of a very important industry, which will likely expand America’s manufacturing capabilities over the next decade, they need to pay attention to those within the industry. This is exactly what this hearing has achieved. You can watch the entire hearing via CSPAN below. Also feel free to discuss this hearing at 3dPrintBoard.
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