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Desktop 3D Printers: Consumers As ‘Manufacturers’ Bring Risks

May 25, 2018, 1:01 PM

Technology companies, parents, and schools face both new and familiar safety challenges as kids clamor for the latest must have: 3D printers.

Leading desktop 3D printer makers such as Ultimaker B.V., MakerBot, and XYZprinting Inc., already offer warnings for some familiar hazards. For example, all three companies warn purchasers not to touch hot equipment.

But giving consumers low-cost manufacturing capability presents some unsettled safety questions, including how to prevent users from making unsafe products, and how to limit exposure to potentially hazardous fumes while the printers are in use.

A common 3D printing technology is fused deposition ...