Talk:Selective laser sintering

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Patent protection on SLS? *What* patents?

I'm a beginning with 3D Printing, and I read in Richard Horne's "3D printing for dummies" that some patents on SLS are about to run out, which should cause another burst of innovation (gee, exactly what the patent system was supposed to *promote*..). I read this and wonder, what exactly *is* there about SLS that is patentable?

As I understand, it's basically pointing a laser at a bed of small metal chips until they melt and fuse. Sure, one can patent specific ways of doing that, or I guess perhaps a particular knd of laser to do that - one that is more efficient or something. (can you patent a wavelength though? Like the infamous CSS key "illegal number"?). But how can you have a patent what's basically the idea of turning a flashlight on and off? Jimw338 (talk) 16:19, 21 June 2019 (EDT)