The use of 3D printers for creating three-dimensional products (additive manufacturing) has become widespread and evolving in recent years. 3D printers are used both, commercially and privately. At the same time new materials are in use, product types and application scenarios are changing. This development must be accompanied by the safe use of 3D printers and the production of safe products. At the moment, however, there is insufficient information that takes into account economic, technical, legal and security aspects for the participants involved in 3D printing. The participants involved in this context are the private and professional operators of 3D printers and thus producers of products, but also those who have points of contact on the subject, in particular the market surveillance authorities.
This research report presents current additive manufacturing processes and then categorizes and explains them in more detail. The most important information is summarized in profiles on one page.
The use of these additive manufacturing processes can lead to new scenarios with problems that require legal consideration, both in the private and the commercial sector. Therefore, potential scenarios and issues are presented from the point of view of users of 3D printers, manufacturers of 3D printers, and market surveillance. New risks associated with 3D printing are described.
Legal requirements related to the use of 3D printers are compiled. First, an overview of the safety regulations and requirements for the 3D printing technology is given. The following is an overview of the regulatory requirements and prerequisites for the products produced by means of 3D printing. Product liability requirements are shown. Finally, the listed scenarios are discussed and it is explained which legal requirements exist and to what extent the users of 3D printers can become manufacturers within the meaning of the Product Safety Act.
In order to provide this information in a target-group-specific manner, three information booklets have been compiled. The information booklets are available from the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Please download the complete report "3D printing: Practical principles on product safety and regulatory framework" (in German only).
M. Schmauder, K. Höhn, I.-L. Hilgers, B. Meyer, S. Schreiber:
3-D-Druck: Praxisgrundlagen zu Produktsicherheit und Rechtsrahmen.
2. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2019. pages 135, Project number: F 2389, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:bericht20181106