3D printing: how to overcome product liability risks

Germany is developing a distinct competitive edge in this emerging technology. But the realisation phase of this new tech’s life cycle has brought with it many questions concerning product liability and more.

3D printing

From spare parts for the automotive sector to aircraft components and consumer goods, 3D printing technology can be produced quickly and inexpensively, with the added benefit that items can be more easily personalised.

German chemical giant BASF is among those taking significant strides in additive manufacturing and is collaborating with a growing network of organisations in an effort to take the applications of 3D printing beyond the prototype phase.

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Cutting additive manufacturing production time

Stratasys announced that GKN Aerospace is improving production times and removing design constraints for multiple tooling applications since integrating additive manufacturing at its Filton manufacturing site in the UK.

Time cut from several weeks to a few hours using Stratasys Production 3D Printer: GKN Aerospace is producing complex tools that were uneconomical or impossible to make without additive manufacturing.

GKN Additive

GKN serves over 90 percent of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers with aerostructures, engine systems and technologies.
According to , the company decided to invest in the Stratasys F900 Production 3D Printer in a bid to cut lead times for production-line tools, and to create complex parts, impossible to make with traditional manufacturing methods.

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Industrial 3D printing market is anticipated to grow US$ 7 billion by 2024

Industrial 3D printing is also referred as additive printing technology that enables manufacturers to develop objects using a digital file and variety of printing materials. Global market for 3D printing material include polymers, metals and ceramics. In addition, industrial 3D printing offers a wide array of applications in various industries.

The Industrial 3D Printing market is expected to exceed more than US$ 7 Billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 27% in the given forecast period.

The scope of the report includes a detailed study of Industrial 3D Printing market with the reasons given for variations in the growth of the industry in certain regions.

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Additive experts give verdict on IMTS and the industrialization of 3D printing

IMTS 2018 set all time records for attendance and exhibit space. At this years event it was evident that additive manufacturing is increasingly finding application within the wider manufacturing universe.

A 3D printing robot by Titan Robotics and Yaskawa at IMTS 2018. Photo by Michael Petch.

Peter R. Eelman, Vice President, VP of organizers AMT describes AM as “one of the most revolutionary technologies ever brought to IMTS” with an “unprecedented degree of collaboration among exhibitors to develop additive manufacturing, automation and connected systems.”

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Siemens Mobility is 3D printing spare parts at first digital rail maintenance centre

“The ability to 3D print customised tools and spare parts whenever we need them, with no minimum quantity, has transformed our supply chain.”

Siemens Mobility GmbH, part of Siemens AG, has opened its first digital rail maintenance centre, eliminating the need for inventory of selected spare parts.


The Siemens Mobility RRX Rail Service Center located in Dortmund-Eving, Germany, houses a Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D printer which is being used produce replacement parts and tooling on-demand. Siemens Mobility has reduced the manufacturing time of select parts by up to 95%.

The RRX Rail Service Center is expecting around a hundred trains to enter the depot every month. Michael Kuczmik, Head of Additive Manufacturing, Siemens Mobility GmbH, Customer Service says 3D printing will play an integral role in optimising “spare parts for longer life cycles, at reduced cost and in shorter timeframes than ever before.”

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Supply chains shift from global to local

A new A.T. Kearney report says that companies are increasingly feeling the pressure to customize their supply chain operations to match local conditions instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all global model.

Remember when New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman came out with his internationally best-selling book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century in 2005Friedman’s book, which won the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, outlined how globalization had transformed commerce, saying that historical and geographical divisions were becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Fifteen years later, much has changed, and a new report from A.T. Kearney now argues that “focusing on achieving growth through economies of scale, efficiency enhancements, globally integrated value chains, and the sale of mass-market products is no longer a viable strategy for many companies.” The future is no longer global, but local.

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How will 3D printing affect the supply chain?

They may seem like odd bedfellows: UPS, a global logistics and delivery company and Fast Radius, a company pushing 3D printing, which stands to greatly reduce the number of shipments required by allowing businesses to manufacture products locally on their own.

But through its UPS Ventures arm, the company has taken a minority stake in Fast Radius, in hopes of better understanding how 3D printing – or additive manufacturing – will affect its business long-term.

“We use (the fund) to invest in knowledge capital,” explained Alan Amling, vice-president of UPS Ventures. “Looking at new business models. How do we work with companies in the start-up community to help educate us on what the next wave of solutions will be so we can get a head start?”

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VW introduces 3D printing into mass vehicle production

Volkswagen has become the first automotive manufacturer to use metal 3D printing processes in its vehicle production, the company has revealed.

VW is integrating 3D into its long-term design

The automotive giant is to implement the “HP Metal Jet” process that simplifies and speeds up metallic 3D printing productivity by up fifty times compared with other 3D printing methods.

The project is being delivered with printer manufacturer HP and component manufacturer GKN Powder Metallurgy, with all stakeholders presenting the new process for the first time at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.

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How Adidas and Carbon are changing the sneaker supply chain

While the Adidas  Futurecraft 4D shoes are cool looking sneakers, the story behind those shoes is even more interesting. The sportswear company has partnered with Carbon to design a new kind of sneakers.


Behind the Futurecraft 4D, you can find a process that is not that new — 3D printing. Many companies promised an industrial revolution by bringing back factories to service-driven countries, such as the U.S. and European countries. But this partnership between Adidas and Carbon  could turn that wild dream into a reality.

“What you saw there was basically this integration of hardware, software and chemistry all coming together to take a digital model, print it very fast, but do it out of the materials that have the properties to be final parts,” Carbon co-founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone told TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino.

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How economically viable is 3D printing concrete for construction?

3D printed concrete construction is becoming a practice that is being taken more seriously than ever before, as bridgeshouses and other structures are being printed and shown to be effective. A new study entitled “Practice-oriented buildability criteria for developing 3D-printable concretes in the context of digital construction” takes a look at the process of digital construction (DC) and presents what it calls buildability criteria, taking various process parameters and construction costs into consideration.

“A systematic basis for calculating the time interval (TI) to be followed during laboratory testing is proposed for the full-width printing (FWP) and filament printing (FP) processes,” the researchers state. “The proposed approach is validated by applying it to a high-strength, printable, fine-grained concrete. Comparative analyses of FWP and FP revealed that to test the buildability of a material for FP processes, higher velocities of the printhead should be established for laboratory tests in comparison to those needed for FWP process, providing for equal construction rates.”

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