Cut, Copyright, Paste, Print


Thingiverse is the largest and most legal 3D print file search engine, created by 3D printer giant “Makerbot” as a way for the 3D printing community to share, create and download almost all 3D Printing files created by engineers and civilians alike, for free.

This however, makes for a complex network of potential copyright infringements. A great way that Thingiverse combats this is by minimalising and simplifying their Terms of Use policies so as to clear up any confusion as to what your rights are online.

The variety of situations in which people create these files and upload them is also an issue which Makerbot combats. The “Creative Commons” system is employed and pushed by the engine to accurately represent each user’s desired form of public access. This has helped to keep Thingiverse out of the legal limelight and has been cause of much of it’s success through legal eligibility.

Opposing the legality and customisability of the creative commons process is the largest NON-legal 3D print file search engine DEFCAD. Much akin to other pirate engines, DEFCAD avoids all responsibility to uploaded files and uses anonymous uploaders to keep away from legal infringements. This lack of official copyright safeguard would be beneficial to the Pirate site if official files were downloaded at an expense, though the beauty of the legitimate File engine is that files are free to download LEGALY because of the flexibility of creative commons.

It can then be deduced that the creative commons licence assists in the credibility and ongoing success of legal 3D printer sites. It proves a powerful tool for individual copyright requirements and will continue to help the 3D printing community safely share and express their creative works.

Reference List

 luotinen (2014) OpenSCAD Pirate Ship (Thingiverse).[ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 March 2014].


(2014) Terms of Use (Thingiverse).  [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 March 2014].


2014. Creative Commons. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 March 2014].


One thought on “Cut, Copyright, Paste, Print

  1. Quite an interesting subject. I would love to be able to share 3D files as easy as google images. I like the way you used your sources. It does feel however, that you didn’t express enough of your opinion or an angle in the blog. I think you should add more personality to your posts to make them more engaging.

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