Protocol for Purchase and Campus Use of 3D Printers and Related Hardware and Software
3D printers are an exciting advance in technology and can be useful to faculty and students in a number of programs. However, this technology has sprung up and become sought after in such a relatively short time that government regulators and agencies concerned with security issues (capacity to print weapons, biotoxins, etc.), potential environmental health risks, and intellectual property risks, raised by the printers have not yet caught up with the technology. Also, the technology is constantly advancing so that what is in use today may be obsolete tomorrow and tomorrow's technology may present issues not raised by today's printers. W&L is putting this protocol into place so that the University can prudently assess the purchase and use of these printers and related security, health/safety, and/or compliance issues based on current knowledge and regulations.
This protocol applies to all faculty and staff purchases of 3D printers and/or related hardware and software for on campus use and to all users of such technology on the W&L campus.
NOTE: The possession or storage of 3D printers by students in student rooms or campus housing living areas is prohibited in accordance with Residential Life rules and regulations.
Faculty or administrators planning to purchase 3D printers, and/or related hardware and software for on campus use are expected to notify the respective Associate Dean and the Office of General Counsel at least 60 days before entering into a contract for purchase to allow for assessing and addressing relevant issues and risks. The University may condition funding for purchase of such equipment and related supplies on compliance with this protocol.
The Office of General Counsel will need to review general contract terms & conditions and relevant manufacturer information in order to assess any export controls (ITAR or EAR regulations) or other regulatory restrictions/ramifications of printer and related hardware/software use. Faculty or administrative purchasers should provide all relevant manufacturer websites, contractual data, and manufacturer contact information to the Office of General Counsel.
The faculty member or department will be expected to work with the Associate Dean, in collaboration with Facilities Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Information Technology Services, Office of General Counsel, and other departments, as appropriate, to plan for appropriate location, ventilation, and security of the printers and related hardware and software. The printer must be included in ITS inventory of equipment, connected to the University network (not free standing), and located so that it can be physically locked (cabinet, closet, office, etc.) when not in use.
The faculty member or department will be expected to develop and supervise a plan for use of the printers, to be approved by the applicable Dean, to include:
- Authorized uses (only uses related to class, faculty research, authorized student research/summer projects, no weapons or other dangerous items or materials, no reproduction of protected intellectual property without consent unless fair use exception applies)
- Authorized users (must be designated and oriented on appropriate and safe use of printers by the faculty member or other trained department staff before use; documentation should be maintained of authorized users and who has been oriented)
- Security/supervision of use (users must login with network credentials to print; no unsupervised printing [supervision may be either in person or by means of having lengthy print jobs running while unit locked during off hours, for example])
If the Office of General Counsel determines that the printer or software being used is subject to Defense Department or Commerce Department regulations on ITAR or EAR controlled technologies, the faculty or department will need to notify the Office of General Counsel of the country of origin of any foreign national (including any students that fall in this category) for whom approval is sought to use the printer, so that relevant regulations may be consulted in advance to determine whether such use can be allowed.
NOTE: The possession or storage of 3D printers by students in student rooms or campus housing living areas is prohibited in accordance with Residential Life rules and regulation
August 7, 2018 -- Modified by Provost (per delegation of authority from President of the University).