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3D printing breathes new life into old inventions

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The US Patent and Trademark Office may be the key battleground in today's high-tech lawsuits, but it's also home to a trove of inventions that have fallen into the public domain. Now patent lawyer Martin Galese is trying to bring some 21st century tech to the charming ideas patented in the 19th and 20th centuries. He's dug up eccentric creations — from an Escher-esque building block to a combination comb and hair clip — and is rebuilding them using digital modeling tools, allowing anyone with a 3D printer to own a once-patented work from the past.“You’re holding the 19th century by way of something that was produced in the 21st century,” Galese told The New York Times. Galese said that he sees the intricate drawings that accompany many patents as beautiful works of art, but that isn't the aspect he appreciates most: the real idea of his Patent-Able blog, where all of his 3D models are featured, is to help people see the patent office as as wealth of ideas, and not just the impetus for endless legal battles.Galese notes that there are over 8 million registered patents — and according to the Patently-O law blog's estimates, only about 2.1 million of those were still in force last year. Just over a dozen patents have been featured so far on Galese's blog, and he's still on the lookout for "cool, weird, [and] surprisingly useful" ideas from the past to turn into 3D models. He uses MakerBot's Thingiverse website — which collects and shares user-generated 3D models — to host all of his recreations. Galese thinks that it's a fitting home for them: the patent office's archives, he told the Times, are really just the "original Thingiverse."

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06 Feb
3Dconnexion Inc. @3Dconnexion
RT @openengineering: #3Dprinting breathes new life into old inventions http://t.co/wNnnlyC471 via @verge
11 Aug
Stratasys @3d_printers
3D printing breathes new life into old inventions | @TheVerge http://t.co/O0yXewzJVL
07 Aug
3D Nuts @3DNuts
RT @makerbot #3Dprinting breathes new life into old inventions, via @theverge http://t.co/iLXe0ofDD2 #Thingiverse
07 Aug
MakerBot @makerbot
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06 Aug
3d4printers @3d4printers
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06 Aug
3DLT.com @3dtemplates
3D printing breathes new life into old inventions - The Verge http://t.co/P1Sbu6bZsw #3dprinting
06 Aug
B3dge @Build3dprinter
3D printing breathes new life into old inventions - The Verge http://t.co/FFeHLWkZtM
06 Aug
3D Printing newsbot @3DPrint_newsbot
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