Heated Chamber Patent Expiration (US6722872B1)

I was watching a video from 2019 and the host was talking to a rep from Stratasys and mentioned that their heated chamber patent is expiring soon. When I looked it up it appears as though it will expire in 10 days.
Do you think heated chamber 3d printers will become much more common/affordable? Does anyone know of any companies currently working on consumer heated chamber 3d printers?


I was aware of the patent and why we don’t see the feature. I would think that a company could not make their intentions known until after the patent expires.

That’s kinda what I was expecting. I wonder if on the 28th we will see new printers or if they cant even start the designs until then.

I would think they would be able to design in secret. I don’t see a lot of manufactures coming out with one. It only really helps with certain materials IMHO and most have no need or desire to use those materials. My first printer was a XYZ Da Vinci 1.0 that was full enclosed and the heat build up actually made part cooling a challenge.

Strictly speaking, patents only protect the patent holder’s financial interests. As long as you don’t sell or give away a product incorporating someone else’s unlicensed patent, you can design with it to your heart’s content. You can legally use it for your own use and experiment with it all you want. You don’t need to be secretive about it as far as the patent itself is concerned, although there are good reasons to be secretive about upcoming product launches.

That having been said, I read the abstract for the patent, and a bit more. This basically applies to a design for printing materials that require such high heat that stepper motors may be damaged. I’m hard pressed to think of anything the average consumer would want to make that would involve such temperatures. Basically it’s 3D printing in an oven. Glass is the only thing that comes to mind and, while 3D printed glass might actually be pretty neat, it’s would really be a niche market.

Incidentally, I watched a video a few months ago wherein some high-temperature 3D printers were being showcased. The approach taken was to encase the motors in a liquid-tight jacket and pump cooling fluid around them. The approach in the patent involves keeping the motors outside the build enclosure. I would expect this could be done with a core-XY system using metal cables instead of rubber belts. That would allow the cables to be passed outside through 4 very small holes. Then again, maybe they had a different method. I didn’t bother reading too far into it.

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