MakerBot Print is our newest print-prepration software, which supports native CAD files and STL assemblies,
allows you to interact with all your printers via the Cloud, and many other exciting new features.
So far, our institution (university) does not have a policy. I got a laser cutter (highest risk and smell), 3D printers and a large embroidery machine.
I would like to know more about potential risks from manufacturers. We routinely print over night in our university offices. I have been doing this over the last 7 years (starting with RapMan and now using a Felix Pro that has a certified PowerSupply). My colleagues have cheap Dagoma Delta printers. I sometimes wonder what could happen to me if I start a fire...
So yes, "I hope nobody brings that up" ....
My bigger concern is plastic fumes. ABS is bad and I don't use it except for "cleaning" the hot end. In principle, PLA is harmless, but I REALLY do not trust the paint inside, in particular the one that can be found in the more expensive "glossy" PLA. I really miss information there ! I don't know about others, e.g. Nylon or Ninja Flex or PET. They are supposed to be harmless. In any case, I would not recommend using any 3D printer in a classroom without some precaution, e.g. open the windows now and then and only use "cheap" PLA with little paint inside.
Concerning training students: We show them how the machines operate and after we got a feeling that they "got it" let them use these alone. The major concern is that they can break things. Burns from a hot end are not life threatening, i.e. I do not consider 3D printers to be very dangerous (except maybe some plastic fumes). They are not allowed to leave the laser cutter unsupervised.