This European Commission study analyses the IP implications of the development of industrial 3D printing clarifying how the existing IP framework brings protection to IP rights holders. It identifies potential challenges and how they can be removed and opportunities in need of clarification in order to aid the competitiveness of the AM sector in Europe. The focus is on seven industrial applications of AM: health, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods/electronics, energy, industrial equipment and tooling and construction and building sectors.
The report identifies the pertinent IP considerations according to different elements in the 3D printing process, i.e. designing a CAD file, using and sharing a CAD file, printing the CAD file, distributing the printed good and finally, licensing it.