The Shape of Things to Come

State Bar of Michigan Inter Alia Blog 11/25/2019

5 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2019

Date Written: September 9, 2019


Just imagine you hit a button on your printer and out pops a prototype of a prosthetic leg.This is 3D printing. 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. Additive manufacturing is expanding to become a manufacturing paradigm.

Using a 3D printer a Univ. of Michigan researcher custom built a tiny flexible splint that will grow with a baby boy. The baby had a rare disorder in which one of the airways in his lungs collapsed when he exhaled.

3D printing technology is a game changer in industry, medicine, jewelry,making, art, housewares and a bevy of other areas. 3D printing can be used in court to supplement expert testimony or in a complex medical malpractice case or product liability case to demonstrate a defect or to show causation.

However, a question arises if existing intellectual property laws will cover some of the products produced by additive manufacturing. The 3D printer can be used to modify existing products for appearance and functionality. Product manufacturers need to be aware of 3D printing to identify and protect themselves from possible infringement.

3D printing can also be used in trial practice as demonstrative evidence to supplement expert testimony, opening statement, final argument or to show causation.

Keywords: 3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, Trial Practice-expert testimony, opening statement, final argument

Suggested Citation

Johnson, James A., The Shape of Things to Come (September 9, 2019). State Bar of Michigan Inter Alia Blog 11/25/2019, Available at SSRN:

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics