Additive manufacturing, or 3-dimensional (3D) printing, is a valuable tool that has transformed research, instruction, and the student experience in higher education. As with so many new technologies, there are unintended consequences and safety considerations that must be managed in higher education settings. Research shows that steps can be taken to mitigate these unintended consequences and allow users to leverage the innovative capabilities of 3D printing safely with fewer impacts on human health. However, on most college campuses, it is not unusual to find 3D printers in such places as classrooms, makerspaces, libraries, labs, and even residence halls. As a result, 3D printers may be in settings where best practices for safe use may not be well understood or implemented. Indeed, 3D printing may have become so prolific on many college campuses that it can be difficult to track 3D printer usage and support the safe use of these technologies effectively.
In this course, we will provide an overview of the variety of 3D printing technologies being used on college campuses along with their general safety concerns. Focused discussion time will look at the research on 3D printing emissions including an introduction to aerosol formation and characteristics from material fusion and vat photopolymerization printers as well as the potential health impacts resulting from exposure to these emissions. Best practices for mitigating exposures will be described related to selection and purchasing, printer location, and ventilation during operation.
After this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Describe the unintended consequences and safety considerations related to 3D printing.
- Discuss challenges faced in managing 3D printing in higher education environments.
- Evaluate best practices and recommendations in managing 3D printer safety.
- Integrate new resources and strategies into their own 3D printing safety management programs.