A family in France has become the first in the world to move into a 3D-printed house. It only took 54 hours to print and according to the BBC, is 20% less expensive than identical construction using more traditional solutions.
Touchstone Underwriting are happy to consider any risk relating to 3D-printing. To send in your risk or discuss your clients requirements, please contact Mike Patston.
Four important considerations for the Insurance Sector
3D-printing could significantly disrupt the traditional product development process. Products with latent defects won't become apparent until years after the process becomes mainstream. This has the potential to introduce very long tailed risks into the sector.
1) Copyright violation & intellectual property
The lack of robust regulation and the inability to monitor what people 3D-print will make it increasingly difficult to prevent individuals from creating counterfeit items.
With this lack of control will come enormous risk. Manufacturers could find themselves being held liable for defective products that they never even built.
2) Product Liability Laws
The blame of a faulty product can either lie with the 3D-modelling software, the 3D-printer itself or even the operator of the 3D-printer.
It's becoming more difficult to determine where the liability starts and finishes for 3D-printing tasks and establishing where liability falls will often be driven on a case by case basis.
3) Professional Liability for designers
Professional Liability Insurance for designers will become critical as their digital 3D-models are distributed access the globe and interpreted by a wide variety of printers.
Product related claims will become complicated by arguments over contribution between designers, printing machine manufacturers and end users. Another consideration is a manufacturer may incorporate a 3D-printed component part into larger assembly.
4) Risks to the operator
As precision heating is a common aspect across most 3D-printing processes, some printers can reach high operating temperatures and require careful handling and oversight to avoid any potential fire risks.
The majority of health concerns appear to be in respect of their emissions during standard operation.
Find out more
Find out more about our Specialist Products Liability that may cover 3D-printing.