Lucas123 writes "With scanners able turn objects into printable files and peer-to-peer file sharing sites able to distribute product schematics, 3D printing could make intellectual property laws impossible or impractical to enforce. At the Inside 3D Printing Conference in San Jose this week, industry experts compared the rise of 3D printing to digital music and Napster. Private equity consultant Peer Munck noted that once users start sharing CAD files with product designs, manufacturers may be forced to find legal and legislative avenues to prevent infringement. But, he also pointed out that it's nearly impossible to keep consumers from printing whatever they want in the privacy of their homes. IP attorney John Hornick said, 'Everything will change when you can make anything. Future sales may be of designs and not products.'"