3D printing, used synonymously with “additive manufacturing,” is an already large and fast-growing manufacturing sector whose potential is only beginning to emerge.
For almost 30 years, additive manufacturing was employed primarily by engineers and designers to make prototypes quickly and cheaply.
Today, product designs and service bureaus (specialist on-demand 3D printing firms) are readily available, and the cost of printers has declined significantly, making 3D printing increasingly accessible for a wide range of commercial and consumer uses.
The flip side of the positive momentum additive manufacturing is experiencing is that its flexibility (in terms of materials and designs it can accommodate) and decentralization (in terms of the broad base of current and potential users) are creating new safety risks, making the innovation of safety science essential to providing the needed safeguards.
About UL Reports
UL pioneered a comprehensive approach to safeguard 3D printing and help protect people, organizations, and facilities. Our unique approach encompasses four broad initiatives: education and training; equipment and materials testing; product validation; and standards, research, and regulatory support.