Librarian of Congress adds impossible conditions to your right to jailbreak your 3D printer

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So, what now?

Perhaps we will see the divide we saw with DVD players in the early aughts.

Cheap Chinese units will have more and better features than the more expensive offerings that adhere to the rules.

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So you can jailbreak your 3D printer as long as you don’t use it for anything.

Just makes you want to sing the national anthem, doesn’t it?


It seems to me that this probably only affects hi-end printers that actually bothered to have any sort of DRM in them to begin with. Most 3-D printers owned by the plebs wouldn’t have any of these restrictions in place to begin with, given the fact that they’re all essentially based off the same architecture; chiefly, open source hardware that’s been a development for decades.

The kind of people rolling with Stratasys printers to begin with aren’t very interested in hacking their very expensive (and likely institutionally owned) hardware. They generally play by the rules (even when those rules include reticulum material charges and insane interpretations of IP software law that mean that the printers are never really “owned” by the organization anyway).

It’s a shitty ruling, to be sure, but I’m not really worried at this point.

When I worked in prepress, helping set up RIPs for million-dollar large-format printers, the most aggressive customers for third party inks were those who’d spent the most on their equipment. If inks amount to 40% of your overheads and you can cut that to 10% without sacrificing quality, you’d be an idiot not to (and what’s more, you’d be out of business as soon as your competitors took this step and undercut your prices).

IOW: the more serious you are about volume business, the greater the return on an investment in jailbreaking to use third-party consumables.

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How about a 3D FAX (letraset, thick-film fab?) You can only print compost bricks, but you can have a firewall nice it up to print oriented refactory products.

Also I have a transistor with an open base called the water cycle; nobody not hack or you’ll be manipulating this cellphone repeater.

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