IP, Make It Leo Makes 3D Printable Designs into Limited Editions

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MakeItLeo is a new cloud service that allows people to upload their 3D models, share them, sell them, and control their distribution in a global market. In a world where the most advanced designs are created digitally, the paradox is that the most unique IP (intellectual property) could be reproduced an infinite number of times. Several solutions are in development in order to retain a certain amount of control over the number of 3D prints per design, with Make It Leo being the one that focuses most on the file itself as well as the designers’ needs.

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The service was created for major product brands and will eventually be expanded to all 3D designers who just want to take out the difficulties of their work distribution out of the equation, and focus on their creative endeavors instead. Based in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands (two of the global epicenters of the new 3D printing industry) Make It Leo allows people to upload their designs and transform them into a LEO (Limited Edition Object) file which can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone, for as many times as set by the creator. The file contains key data like the manufacturing techniques, materials, colors, 3D printer compatibility list, etc.

Not only does Make It Leo protect your files allowing limited access to them, but they also provide real-time tracking of their activity (shares, prints, etc), protects them from getting digitally stolen by using a solid security layer, and lets you choose the scope of design changes that are allowed to be performed by 3rd party designers on your original model. All this for 10 Euros per month and an additional 1 Euro fee per printed item.

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Make it Leo basically simplifies the process of distributing 3D printable designs, freeing individuals or companies from having to deal with all the expenses that come with logistics, upfront investment in manufacturing, marketing, etc. As a makeitleo.com executive stated during our interview with him: “We’re giving the brands or designers the opportunity to create a limited edition object out of their .stl model file by converting it, allowing them to share it, send it, or sell it, to anyone or anywhere they want, for as many times as they choose. Designers have the full control of the distributed file, without having to maintain an inventory, a logistics department, deal with post office, or have a manufacturing unit. This is like a manufacturing revolution where you don’t have to have anything other than the idea/design, and you can directly sell it anywhere in the world!”

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The company has already developed partnerships with Autodesk, iMaterialize, and Shapeways, so their LEO files are seamlessly working with these manufacturers. The next step will be to make LEO files compatible with every 3D printer out there, eventually letting people print the files in their home without having to deal with intermediaries.

With time, 3D printing becomes easier and more readily available than ever before. Companies who can print things for you and allow you to control their distribution and modification scope pullulate, and so do our options.


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