The patent titled “Manufacturing control system” states that manufacturing control systems be it a three-dimensional additive manufacturing machines configured for rapid prototyping or three-dimensional printing or two-dimensional printing or freeform fabrication or solid freeform fabrication and stereolithography will have to obtain the required authorization or license, to put it in the right words, before the systems are allowed to manufacture or ‘print’ items requested by the user.
The whole idea is to have a data file that will hold the digital fingerprint of all the restricted items somewhere on the web or on an external source and as and when printers are ordered to print something by users, they will compare the plans of the item to be printed with those already present in the data file. If a match is found printing will either not be allowed or will be restricted.
Three-dimensional printing has created quite a buzz and people are even claiming that world’s hunger problem can be eliminated through the use of 3D printers. But, this might just not be the case as the patent also covers things such as “skin, textiles, edible substances, paper, [and] silicon printing”.
The patent goes to the extent of restricting the manufacturing / printing through the use of “metal, wood, ice, stone, glass, nuclear materials, pharmaceuticals, edible substances, sand, ceramic materials, aluminum, silicon, carbides, silicon nitrides, silicon carbides, metal/ceramic combinations including aluminum/silicon nitride, aluminum/silicon carbide, aluminum/zirconia and aluminum/aluminum nitride including materials alterable by friction, heating and cooling.”