Patents, Metals, and 3D Printed Props

An article on 3d Printing states patents in 3D printing grew at a compound annual rate of 35% since 2013. That’s second only to e-Cigarettes at 45% over the same time. While the later aims to cease smoking, 3D printing continues to smoke, and that deserves props.
An image of a brightly colored mask, held by a person wearing an intricately detailed costume, also in green and red.

The Leading 3D Printing Patents by Industry

The figures were compiled by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. The report proves that 3D printing is becoming more accepted, embraced, in fact, across a broader scope of industries. The demand for greater applications is also growing. Hence, the patents.

Let’s see in which industries these patents stem and the top three companies that filed them.

  • General Electric took the lion’s share of patents with 89. GE, the multinational conglomerate,  is expending a lot of effort working with printing metals.
  • Xerox, the document management company, filed 78 patents in 3D printing technology.
  • Boeing, the aerospace and jet manufacturer, is looking to save millions of dollars by 3D printing titanium parts for their planes. Boeing is also enjoying the “free form” design additive manufacturing offers. cited a survey by Sculpteo on how businesses are using 3D printing. Included in the responses were accelerating product development, offering customized products, increasing production flexibility, optimizing demo product expenses, and improving spare part management. There is an interesting omission from this list: entertainment.

3D Printed Props

3D printing has gained more than a foothold in Hollywood these past years, thanks partially to the 1981 federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. It gives tax credits to movie companies that 3D print their props. That’s not the only motivational factor for 3D printed props. The technology saves time and produces lightweight, realistic props.

HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of Hollywood’s leaders in using 3D printed props. Do you remember the dragon? It was 3D printed. Many other pieces of equipment and weaponry were also 3D printed. The show’s visual effects team touts the freedom 3D design software allows for free-form props over traditional manufacturing methods that would make these props very challenging to create.

Even on the stage, 3D printed props are proving valuable. When there was not enough time for an Italian opera to locate a classic car for a classic scene, they 3D printed a life-size Lancia Aurelia B24. It “flew” above the stage carrying the lead actor.

There is another way 3D printing saves time. Using this technology makes it easy to create multiple identical props.  On’s blog, famed set designer John Lee Beatty said, “I don’t feel guilty asking for 24 lamp posts, and then asking for two more.”

Ask away. 3D designing and printing make it easy. And 3D printing is gaining momentum in more industries, in more countries, and with the second-fastest patent rate per industry.

See what Massivit can offer you with our patented Gel Dispensing Printing and rapid curing, delivering ready-to be-finished props right off the printer. Click to visit our Theming & Entertainment page to learn more.


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