3D printing brings new life to old inventions

An 1875 flower stand.

The key battleground in today’s high-tech lawsuits may be the US Patent and Trademark Office, but it is also home to a trove of inventions that have fallen into the public domain. Martin Galese, a patent lawyer, is trying to bring some 21st century tech to the charming ideas patented in the 19th and 20th centuries. He’s dug up eccentric creations — from an Escher-esque building block to a combination comb and hair clip — and is rebuilding them using digital modeling tools, allowing anyone with a 3D printer to own a once-patented work from the past.


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