Customer issues around 3D printing
Handful of us have one-but the usage of 3D models is increasing in businesses and houses in Europe. However, there are several question marks for customers over this new technology.
Jennifer in London asks: “While 3D publishing is expanding quickly in popularity, this new technology also raises concerns about product safety, consumer-protection or trademark violation. How should these issues be addressed by EU policy-makers?”
Per Strömbäck, editor of Netopia, the Community for the Digital Culture responds: “3D publishing has existed since the 80’s but what happened lately is the fact that patents are expiring, so 3D models are actually being a consumer item.
“So, you will find good expectations that 3D models could be a particular product almost like photo printers and color models which exist in many houses. Today, this can affect the marketplace for production for instance, you won’t require large crops, you are able to deliver items electronically on the internet and print them.
“So problems like consumer security, who’ll be responsible if something goes wrong and what’ll be the caliber of the printed product? Design patent and images infringements… a lot of of the problems with piracy the information industry has experienced may be the problems of the manufacturing sector. Gun-control may be one of the most stunning case.
“And perhaps, from the government standpoint, most of all the assortment of trade tariffs and income taxes may also be questioned if individual 3D publishing becomes standard within the next 5 to ten yearsapproximately.
“Now for the question of what governments must do and exactly what the EU institutions particularly must do. I think when the legislation and norms are involved already in the idea stage, then it’s quite simple for that technology to comply and I believe that the easiest way to achieve that would be to ensure that government research grants have requirements (indicating) the technology (needs to) support democratic, social and government goals.
“So, we’ve a historic chance to get this technology something which helps community, instead of attempt to resolve the issues retroactively as an afterthought.”