Come February of 2014, a slew of selective laser sintering patents held by 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) will be expiring. The last time key technology patents associated with 3-D printing expired, it sparked the open source movement that spawned the consumer-oriented 3-D printing revolution. In the video below, contributor Steve Heller goes into detail about the patents, what their expiration could mean for the industry at large, and what it will likely mean for both 3D Systems and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), parent of MakerBot.

Fool contributor Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems and Stratasys and has the following options: short January 2014 $36 calls on 3D Systems and short January 2014 $20 puts on 3D Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.