joesoap583 wrote:With regard to hexagonal copyright which MakerBot might hold, would it not be possible to consider octagonal (8 sided rather than 6 sided)? That would give a uniform pattern.
I've never heard that Makerbot had a copyright on hexagonal infill. First, it's in Skeinforge which is an open source project independent of Makerbot - they used the software and contributed to the project, but don't own it. And second, you can't copyright a general concept just a specific expression (e.g. a novel). Perhaps you're thinking that they patented it? Though as far as I can tell, they haven't.
The reason that a hex infill is so strong is that it's a geometrically strong shape, so it's stronger, relative to the amount of material, than squares or triangles.
There's a good discussion of infill patterns at http://manual.slic3r.org/expert-mode/infill
. Look at the diagram of hexagon fill, you'll see that alternate layers reinforce alternating angles with end result being extremely strong. Different infill patterns work better for different part shapes. Ideally infill would be intelligently adaptive, rather than regular repeating patterns, but no free slicers do that yet.