As 3D printing opens up a new world of opportunities it also brings with it the possibility of many new hazards, according to a leading specialist.
She says with products now being designed and made in homes instead of factories, it has the potential to turn production and supply on its head, but it also has the potential to have a big impact on product safety in ways we have barely begun to think about.
“In the same way that anyone can now sell goods online, 3D printing will allow anyone to make products,” she explains.
“3D printing will allow you to manufacture plastic toys for your kids to play with, or to create your own little retail business; you can make a part for your washing machine instead of throwing it on the junk heap because the part is no longer made; you can invent a whole new product, make it in your garage and start selling it online; or re-design existing products for variety, better utility, or to fix something you’ve always hated.
“This technology makes all these things possible and it is affordable now, yet as with many innovations, for all the positive applications, there can be new dangers.
“The issue of course lies in the fact that anyone can now design, make and sell a product without formal testing or research and regardless of whether they’ve had training.
“So it opens up new hazards for consumer product safety and as with all product safety measures, all sectors need to play a part.
“A raft of strategies are needed from within the 3D printing industry, the supply sector, governments, educators and consumers,” she says.
Previously, Gail worked in consumer product safety with the Australian Government, mostly at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for 25 years.
Beyond 3D Printing: The Evolving Digital Landscape
Tuesday 24 November, 2015
The Edge, Stanley Place, Brisbane
Media Contact: Lauren Marino, 0418 799 544, [email protected]