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Using 3D printing offers opportunities for hobbyists to create their own customized figurines quite easily. Desktop 3D printers using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology are used most of the time but thanks to the advanced technologies offered by online 3D printing services, it becomes even easier to create figurines thanks to this manufacturing technique.
These printing services are also a way to create high-quality sculptures and customized figurines. With technologies such as ColorJet and its Multicolor 3D printing material, manufacturing colored figurines has never been so easy! But 3D printing action figures and toys is not only interesting for hobbyists.
3D printing and intellectual property is a big subject. To ensure that an existing object isn’t protected before you reproduce it, you must consider the source used to print the object: the 3D file. Using 3D printing to repair a toy also means printing the part of an existing toy, and you have to keep in mind that you don’t own the design of these parts.
If you want to print an existing object with 3D files you got from a scan the object is certainly protected, the company manufacturing the object holds the rights. 3D scanning an object constitutes a reproduction, it may constitute counterfeit reproduction if you 3D print it.
However, making a new 3D file of an object using 3D modeling software cannot be considered as a reproduction since it is done directly by the 3D software user.
Fortunately, the reproduction of a protected object is not enough to be considered a counterfeit. There are exceptions such as:
If you are not the toy manufacturer and want to replicate parts, you can’t produce these parts without authorization. Be sure to read our ebook about 3D printing and intellectual property to get all the information you need about this. Sculpteo is not a law firm, this is not a legal advice, keep in mind that each situation differs and you may consider taking some advice on you specific situation with your lawyer. If 3D manufacturing offers a lot of freedom there are still rules you have to keep in mind, because you don’t own the rights of these toys, or these spare parts.
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