A novel approach to obviousness: An algorithm for identifying prior art concerning 3-D printing materials
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With the development and commercialization of the recyclebot (plastic extruders that fabricate 3-D printing filament from recycled or virgin materials) and various syringe pump designs for self-replicating rapid prototypers (RepRaps), the material selection available for consumers who produce products using 3-D printers is expanding rapidly. This paper provides an open-source algorithm for identifying prior art for 3-D printing materials. Specifically this paper provides a new approach for determining obviousness in this technology area. The potential ramifications on both innovation and patent law in the 3-D printing technological space are discussed.