Digital supply chain software company Identify3D is introducing its latest suite of software solutions to enable manufacturers to facilitate additive manufacturing and decentralize manufacturing models. The software update addresses intellectual property protection, manufacturing repeatability and traceability in order to secure the digital manufacturing process from ever-evolving security threats.
The software suite includes Identify3D Protect, Identify3D Manage and Identify3D Enforce applications, which together offer a comprehensive and encompassing solution for protecting the digital supply chain.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has published a new report, in which it voices concerns over the potential risks of 3D printing if misused.
The report, titled ‘BIO PLUS X’, discusses concerns over the potential for advancements in 3D printing to contribute towards the creation of biological weapons.
A recent surge in the development of bioprinting, in which cells and tissue are printed, has caused fears over biological warfare. Also known as ‘germ warfare’, the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses have the ability to kill or incapacitate humans, animals, or plants.
Recent advancements in biotechnology has made it faster and cheaper to manipulate the genetic make-up of organisms, from bacteria to humans. The use of 3D printing has also made creating low priced customised equipment and prosthetics possible in the biomedical sector.
James Beck is the senior life sciences policy analyst at Reed Smith. James is specialized in product liability, personal injury, especially in very large and very complex cases. Active in law for over thirty years he has been involved in cases U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit and the Supreme Court. He is involved in mass torts, many amicus curiae briefs he is an award-winning expert in his chosen fields who writes often about the law. Over the past few years, James has taken an active interest in 3D Printing, especially with regards to product liability. He is part of Reed Smith’s 3D Printing team who take an active interest in all things printed. Reed Smith itself is a 1500 lawyer law firm with 28 offices around the world and over a billion dollars in revenue. It is both nice and significant when people like that take an active interest in our industry and technology. We interviewed James to find out more about 3D printing and the law, specifically product liability.
As a result, Sigma Labs will enable in-process quality monitoring for additive manufacturing systems at the MTC’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing through its software; the company will also participate in MTC’s member-sponsored programs with a focus on qualification and certification of the additive manufacturing process.
“With Europe at the forefront of many innovative and major developments in the metal AM industry, we believe this agreement, our second major research alliance with a European center of excellence, holds great promise for us and the future of AM,” said John Rice, CEO of Sigma Labs.
UL Chemical Safety has announced the publication of a 3D printing standard which aims to mitigate the risk of indoor air pollution.
ANSI/CAN/UL 2904 ‘Standard Method for Testing and Assessing Particle and Chemical Emissions from 3D Printers’ is now available for use. The standard applies to freestanding 3D printers, typically found in schools, offices, libraries, homes, and other ‘non-industrial’ indoor spaces.
It contains measurement and assessment protocols for the emission of particles and volatile chemicals from diverse 3D printers, print media, and print publications. UL believes it will help to ‘advance the availability of low emission printers and print media for use in the global marketplace’.
If a group of people was asked about the legal concerns associated with 3D printing, most would likely mention 3D printed guns. But the moral and legal debate the technology raises is much broader
If a group of people was asked about the legal concerns associated with additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, most would likely mention 3D printed guns. More specifically, the fear that nefarious individuals will print undetectable firearms in the privacy of their own home for nefarious purposes. In fact, as recently as this past summer, a U.S. Senator introduced draft legislation to prevent just such an occurrence by criminalizing attempts to proliferate the software blueprints for guns.
3D printing is not a young technology per se. The basic technology has been around for decades, but it has experienced a resurgence of innovation over the past couple of years. There are many different methods for 3D printing, but most involve the use of computer-aided design software (CAD) to instruct a digital fabricating machine that extrudes materials, via a layering pattern, to form objects. The technology is relatively unlimited in the materials it can print with, and in the complexity or size of the objects. 3D printers range broadly in cost and use from the industrial to home-based, and even to child-oriented devices. Notably, 3D printing is likely seeing this resurgence because of the expiration of foundational patents in the field that previously prevented too much innovation.
The use of 3D printing is becoming more common in the US Air Force’s supply chain for its fifth-generation aircraft. In December 2018, a metallic 3D printed part was installed by 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintainers on an operational F-22 Raptor during depot maintenance at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
Robert Lewin, 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) director said, “One of the most difficult things to overcome in the F-22 community, because of the small fleet size, is the availability of additional parts to support the aircraft.”
The use of 3D printing is growing mainly because it gives maintainers the ability to acquire replacement parts on short notice without minimum order quantities. This not only saves money, but also reduces the time the aircraft is in maintenance.
The law and 3D printing is a very exciting emerging area of interest for many. What exactly happens with to 3D printed products and liability or IP? Most people in 3D printing don’t want separate laws for 3D printing or 3D printed goods. But, in 3D printed guns we’ve seen lawmakers jump into the crazy clown car of legislating by press release and make separate laws for 3D printing. What will the future hold? Rania Sedhom of Sedhom Law Group reached out to us to share her insights.
Lawmakers seem intent on creating new legislation specifically for 3D printing. Do you agree with that?
Yes, I do. While the technology is a mesh (pun intended) of software and textile, it is unique and needs its own legislation.
3D printing, for all of its multitudes of benefits, also comes with some risks, which include the emission of ultrafine particles and gaseous pollutants. In a paper entitled “Characterization of particulate and gaseous pollutants emitted during operation of a desktop 3D printer,” a team of researchers tests eight different kinds of 3D printer filament for ultrafine particles and volatile organic compounds. All experiments were carried out on a ZortraxM200 3D printer, which has a single extruder, single heated plate, and sidewalls but no cover on the top. They tested ABS, ULTRAT, ASA, HIPS, PETG, GLASS (PETG mixed with fiber glass filings), PCABS and ESD.
The researchers 3D printed a small model that has been proposed by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). It consists of a square base and several small structures on the top and one side wall. The 3D printing was carried out in a stainless steel chamber with air set to 50% relative humidity and 23ºC. Air samples were taken to determine the chamber’s background concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and very volatile organic compounds (VVOCs). The 3D printer was loaded into the chamber, and samples were taken again one hour after loading.
“The eventual low cost of 3D printing combined with their ability to produce most physical things will fundamentally change the economics of industrial manufacturing,” states Smith. “Much like the Internet, 3D printers separate the content of the product from the information used to create it, which, in turn, will substantially reduce the manufacturing costs. This feature will inevitably mean that the production of items can come from virtually anywhere which will certainly present problems for governments and markets.”