Is .stl a free and open format? We want to add .stl support to Wikipedia
August 17, 2016 09:07AM
Hi

I'm helping to bring 3D file support to Wikimedia and we have a question about the .stl file format.

[phabricator.wikimedia.org]

We know that 3D Systems created it but want to know if they still have a patent or some other legal rights over the format? Wikimedia projects only allow free formats

[commons.wikimedia.org]

If anyone has any information it would be really helpful.

Thanks very much

John
Re: Is .stl a free and open format? We want to add .stl support to Wikipedia
August 17, 2016 10:43AM
Not sure if this helps, but GitHub has had STL support for years.

The format is so simple and widely used that it is hard to imagine 3D Systems trying to (or being able to) restrict its usage.
Re: Is .stl a free and open format? We want to add .stl support to Wikipedia
August 17, 2016 12:38PM
Thanks Matt

The Github viewer may be helpful, thanks. The problem is whilst nearly every 3D platform uses .stl in one way or another I can't find out if its a truly open formation (no patents still existing etc).

Cheers

John
Re: Is .stl a free and open format? We want to add .stl support to Wikipedia
August 17, 2016 03:40PM
Even ISO is in the dark. A quote from an ISO document (ISO 12836:2015(E)) which references the StereoLithography Interface Specification:-

Quote
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents ).

Mike
Re: Is .stl a free and open format? We want to add .stl support to Wikipedia
August 17, 2016 05:07PM
Why not ask 3D systems directly ?

They could just have already given up any idea of that format being their property.


Most of my technical comments should be correct, but is THIS one ?
Anyway, as a rule of thumb, always double check what people write.
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