3-D Printing and Product Liability: Identifying the Obstacles

7 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2013

Date Written: October 30, 2013


Though just in its infancy, 3-D printing seems poised to transform the goods we buy, the products we use, and the world we inhabit. A question frequently raised about 3-D printing, though, is how product liability law will apply to 3-D-printed goods. Tackling that important and timely question, this Essay applies contemporary product liability law to defective products from home 3-D printers. The analysis reveals that if home 3-D printing really does take off, PL litigation as we know it may well, in large measure, dry up. And if it doesn’t, the technology threatens to unsettle the theoretical justification for product liability law’s development.

Keywords: product liability, 3-D printing, strict liability, design defects

Suggested Citation

Engstrom, Nora Freeman, 3-D Printing and Product Liability: Identifying the Obstacles (October 30, 2013). University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, Vol. 162, No. 35, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2347757

Nora Freeman Engstrom (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-736-8891 (Phone)

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