Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Alert

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to address all reports or enquiries made with our investigation teams.

Please continue to submit reports and we will review them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your safety or are at risk of harm right now contact police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you need someone to talk to and are under 25, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).
For all other ages, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

3D printers

3D printers, through rather spectacular technology, allow users to create three-dimensional solid objects from a digital design. They vary in features and cost — when it comes to your children, less advanced, consumer-grade printers allow them to create small gadgets and toys.  
3D printing can be very educational, encouraging a new generation of designers and engineers.

Age guide

There are several child-friendly 3D printers on the market. These consumer grade 3D printers may be appropriate for children aged 8 years+, if they are using suitable design software and are closely monitored by an adult.

What to look out for

  • Consumer-grade 3D printers can heat up like an oven, and the fast-moving metal parts can be dangerous for small fingers.
  • Some design software may be too advanced for children.
  • There are ongoing costs for materials such as filament cartridge refills or maintenance.
  • Be wary of the materials used and the energy consumption of this type of technology.

How to stay safe

  • Talk to your child about the possible dangers of using a 3D printer and supervise them as appropriate.
  • Use protective equipment — like gloves and glasses — when handling a 3D printer.
  • Ensure your child uses age-appropriate software to design models for printing.
  • Design together — help your kids find the things they want to print by using a 3D print search engine like Yeggi.