Every 3D printed object exists because of a 3D designer. Designers are the creative minds at the beginning of the process, the ones who make it all happen. This is an idea that has been and continues to be central to CubeForme. With the recent controversy regarding the “just3Dprint” account on Ebay selling printed 3D models without the permission of the designers, I felt compelled to write a piece on why recognizing and respecting 3D designers has been so important to this company.
3D models are, in essence, like art pieces or inventions. Just as it would be foolish to not recognize Leonardo da Vinci as the painter of the Mona Lisa or Henry Ford as the inventor of the automobile, 3D designers should be recognized as the creators of their models. While it’s fine for someone to print 3D models for his or her own personal ownership, the line is crossed when utilizing those models without following their proper creative commons. Namely, using a model for commercial benefit without authorization directly infringes on the rights of the model’s designer. With 3D designs, it can be a tricky matter given that the open source nature of the 3D printing space. With sites like Thingiverse, countless files are uploaded for free download. But generally, following the creative commons assigned to the design or simply asking the designer are the best and easy things to do. It’s always better to clarify. At the end of the day, it’s just the right thing to do.
With all of that being said, CubeForme would truly not be where it is today without our active involvement of designers in our business. By thoroughly communicating with each of our designers, we have been able to push out better products than we would have without their involvement. Pushing out their creations in their name has only expanded our reach and opportunities, and given much more meaning to us. Our featured designers are integral to what we do and the vision we carry, which is why I take a strong stance in support of their rights. We’ve recently partnered with My Mini Factory to set up our future designer features. My Mini Factory is a 3D download platform that’s quite similar to us in really wanting to support designers and elevate the 3D printing ecosystem, so we’re happy to collaborate with them to feature more incredible designers. In this coming month of March, we have the privilege of featuring Kirby Downey. Like the designers before him, he has provided valuable contributions to our business and March’s box. We are so excited to share Downey’s story in the Gamer Box, which is perhaps our most ambitious box so far. Don’t miss out!