Everyone has heard the story about the man who used a 3D printer to make a gun that would make it past TSA. 3D printers have become a part of the modern world. They have been used in the medical field to create custom orthotics; they are an integral part of any modern design process; and some people even give them to their children as a fun toy. 3D printing manufacturers have experienced a great deal of litigation directed against them. But do 3D printers have a productive place in the courtroom?
Some attorneys think that 3D printers can do a great deal of good during litigation. Fennemore Craig, the second-largest firm in Arizona, has started to use 3D printers in their litigation practice. This firm, which has also used Google Glass in litigation to show the jury exactly what personal injury plaintiffs go through daily, says that using 3D printing has given them several distinct advantages. First, the use of the 3D printers has forced the firm’s attorneys to start thinking about overall trial strategy before litigation has even started, and thus have a considerable leg-up on the opposing party. Second, every writing instructor will tell you that it’s better to show rather than to tell. The ability to show a jury or an opposing attorney exactly what the widget was supposed to look like is much more powerful than just telling him or her that it was defective. Third, using a 3D printer has been shown to induce settlement, which saves clients time and money as well as enhances judicial economy. Continue reading