September 25, 2022


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The author of the open source project wants to crowdfund SEK600000 to file a lawsuit

3 min read

The author of the open source project wants to crowdfund SEK600000 to file a lawsuit

Maliciously applied for a patent:The author of the open source project wants to crowdfund SEK600000 to file a lawsuit.

Hangprinter is a project by Swedish developer Torbjørn Ludvigsen and his team, who conceived and built a 3D printer that didn’t require an additional frame, instead using ropes and anchors to attach to an existing structure (pictured below).

Such structures are more flexible, have scalable properties, and are capable of building things much larger than conventional 3D printers.

From the beginning, the Hangprinter was completely open source and freely available to anyone, and the design files for the printer can be downloaded, modified, and republished on GitHub .

UT-Battelle, a nonprofit joint venture between the University of Tennessee and the Battelle Memorial Institute, also manages and operates Oak Ridge National Laboratory (originally a Manhattan Project). part).

Earlier this year, UT-Battelle was granted patent number US11230032B2 entitled ” Cable-driven additive manufacturing system “.

The author of the open source project wants to crowdfund SEK600000 to file a lawsuit

The description of the patent reads:

This is a cable-driven manufacturing system that includes an end effector configured for linear translation in a three-dimensional workspace, an aerial lift that suspends the end effector by at least one suspension cable, and a plurality of Base stations, and control cables from each base station to the end effectors.

Soon after the patent was published, the author of the Hangprinter project, Ludvigsen, found that the system was very similar to the one introduced by the Hangprinter project eight years ago, and said that UT-Battelle’s patents included not only the technology from the Hangprinter, but also some from other projects. 

Ludvigsen also points out that the images used in the patent application are almost based on published images from Hangprinter.

Here (below) is an image from the patent application showing how the printer works, and a structure is being built. In Ludvigsen’s view, UT-Battelle’s patent application is clearly identical to the Hangprinter, but it is now patented.

In order to allow their projects to be continuously updated and maintained without restrictions in the future, and to ensure that all users can continue to use them for free, they plan to hire professional lawyers to help deal with this matter.

However, due to the high cost of hiring a professional lawyer, the potential length of litigation, and the fact that their open source project itself is not profitable, Torbjørn Ludvigsen decided to launch a fundraiser to raise around SEK 600,000 (~$60,000) The funding, as of press time, has raised a third of its target.

In the fundraising page, they wrote that they hope the patent office will re-examine the patent application, and hope that the patent holder can voluntarily withdraw the patent.

After the matter is over, they also welcome each other to join the Hangprinter community to use and develop Hangprinters together.

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