Honda requests that all 3D-printable files related to its brand be removed

Honda requests that all 3D-printable files related to its brand be removed

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Honda

In the automotive industry, additive manufacturing is prized for its ability to design custom parts. Many designers offer custom designs and components, and automakers often support such initiatives. Some already provide 3D files to enhance customization and sharing is becoming more and more popular. A recent example is Ford, which has released a large number of files for 3D printing accessories for its Maverick model. However, not all car manufacturers share the same view.

Automaker Honda recently asked 3D-printer manufacturer Prusa to remove all files bearing or referring to the brand name from its “Printables” platform. A Prussia spokesperson explained: We received a letter from an attorney representing Honda telling us that we are obligated to delete all files using the word “Honda”.It is difficult to know who is at the origin of this decision, but such an act shows that Honda wants to protect its products. It remains to be seen whether this need for protection is justified, as this is the whole issue of intellectual property in 3D printing.

Honda

Example of a file to be 3D printed on the Thingiverse platform (Image credits: Thingiverse)

In the past, the additive manufacturing community made many designs and open source files available for fixtures and other parts from well-known brands. For example, global electronics company Panasonic has made available to its customers more than 75,000 free CAD files for its electronic components, or Miele with its own STL files for its home appliances. Finally, we should encourage this kind of initiative aimed at sharing skills and avoiding overconsumption. However, for the designers behind the product, there may be a shortage.

Honda Files on Printables

A few days ago, manufacturers started reporting on Reddit that their Honda-related 3D models were being removed from Printables without warning. We are talking here about 3D files for printing wiper fluid housings, key rings, gear lever rings, etc. Many of these parts did not even appear with the Honda logo but remained compatible with the brand’s vehicles.

According to Prusa, the mass deletion is the result of the notice issued by Honda that, as they did not want to get into a legal battle with the automaker, and within the tight deadline they had to respond to the letter, they complied with the request. The 3D files affected by this removal were not only those containing Honda’s logos, but also specific items of certain shapes and sizes that the company deemed infringing on its trademark.

Honda

Although the files have been removed from Printables, there are still 3D files associated with Honda on other platforms such as Thingiverse and Tangs. It remains to be seen for how long. What do you think of Honda’s decision? Share your opinion with us in the comments of the article and find all our videos on our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook or Twitter !

*Cover Image Credits: Sourav Mishra

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