• Cosimo Orban

Week in Review: December 5 to 11th

UL teams up with universities to tell us how safe is 3D printing, research company CONTEXT says metal 3D printing continues to grow impressively, and US Court rules on the transmission of 3D files.


Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a nonprofit that is part of the UL global safety science organization, has recently announced partnerships with two US universities to examine the impact of 3D printing on indoor air quality. With Georgia Tech, UL says they have already made “significant progress” already in their emissions study methodology. In 2016, they will work with Emory University to assess potential health hazards from exposure to the emissions.


According to recent data released by IT market research company CONTEXT, sales of 3D metal printers across the globe were up by a tremendous 45% in Q3 2015, compared to last year. While many 3D printing companies, manufacturers, and resellers are blaming lack of consumer spending for financial decline, in the metal 3D printer market shipments have grown 51% so far in 2015 compared to the same period last year.


In a case with important implications for 3D printing, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in a dispute between tooth aligner competitors Align and ClearCorrect that the U.S. International Trade Commission cannot stop digital blueprints of physical objects from being imported into the U.S.

The International Trade Commission became involved in the dispute between Align and ClearCorrect when ClearCorrect, in an alleged attempt to skirt Align’s U.S. patents, began performing part of its process abroad. ClearCorrect scans teeth in the U.S., but sends the digital blueprints to Pakistan, where digital blueprints are created for a series of intermediate orthodontic aligners that straighten teeth over time. ClearCorrect then sends the digital blueprints of the intermediate aligners back to the U.S. for 3D printing. Please visit 3D Printing Industry for a detailed account of the case.

As always, to close our Week in Review, we invite you to visit our Dev Team blog, Layer0. This week, one of our developers shares some of his findings on how to avoid common 3D print failures. And don’t forget: Layer0 has a new blog post for you every Tuesday.

See you next Friday!

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