Many people think 3-D printing could help spark a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. But as 3-D printers and 3-D scanners get cheaper, this nascent industry could be roiled by battles over intellectual property.
Not so long ago, a good 3-D scanner that could create digital models of objects cost more than $10,000. Then, Microsoft released the Kinect—the video game controller that allows you to play games by just waving your hands.
"But it turned out that the Kinect was actually much more than that—it was a 3-D camera but one-hundredth of the price," said Nicolas Burrus, co-founder of manctl.