Health and Safety of Fabs

The UK government’s Health and Safety Executive has issued a brief report on “Rapid Manufacturing”, in which they predict there could be 100,000 rapid manufacturing devices in use by 2010.

In the longer term, the development of equipment and materials enabling the fabrication of products in the home via desktop “fabbers”3 and ultimately perhaps, Molecular Manufacturing technologies based on the use of nanoscale machines to produce complex articles by the direct manipulation of matter on a molecular scale are foreseen.

They also believe that desktop fabs may provide health and safety benefits:

There is no suggestion as yet that any of the RM technologies presents a serious cause for concern and indeed the fact that the equipment tends to be self-contained could offer health & safety benefits.

You can find the relevant Health and Safety Executive page here, and the PDF report is here.

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