Important News as of Fall 2019: 3D printers are not permitted on studio desks, in classrooms, hallways or offices at the GSD.

3D Printing and Air Quality at the GSD

After extensive research and expert consultation, responding to very real concerns about the public (& therefore personal) health effects of air-born particulates and products of combustion on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), and after deliberation of the Executive Committee and full Faculty of the GSD, Dean Mostafavi announced in May 2019:

Although regulations related to nanoparticles produced by 3D printers are evolving, recommendations from consultants encourage minimizing exposure, containing the devices and mechanically removing their byproducts from the indoor air where possible. Therefore:

3D printers will no longer be permitted on studio desks, in classrooms, hallways or offices at the GSD. Building Services, Computer Resources, and the Fabrication Lab will make available an increased number of self-serve 3D printers in locations adjacent to studio spaces that are both enclosed and under negative pressure for exhaust ventilation.

We are aware of the importance of and fascination with 3D printing as a form-testing and model-making technology in all the design disciplines, and seek to balance safety and health concerns with creative expression, design exploration, and mass-production. The GSD Fabrication Lab will continue to support several (modest) industrial-strength 3D printers, which offer even more possibilities than personal ones. In addition, new facilities are under construction in Gund Hall and Sackler 2nd floor studio for an expanded bank of Dremel DigiLab 3Dprinters with suitable enclosure and provisions for outdoor exhaust. They will be available in Fall 2019, 24/7 for shared use.

We know that technologies, regulations, and scientific understanding are always evolving, and have no doubt that some future scenario will include a wider diverse array of safe and affordable options for digital fabrication at the GSD. The GSD’s Fabrication Lab staff are dedicated to maintaining the excellence, diversity, productivity and stellar safety record of the GSD’s digital and analog  fabrication resources in the service of the GSD community’s incredibly fertile imagination. Please join them in this effort.

Please feel free to contact me directly with questions or concerns about this or any other matter.
Stephen Ervin
Assistant Dean for Information Technology