Ventilation for 3D Printers

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anorlunda

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Summary
3D printers emit hazardous gasses.
:warning:

Sigh. Yet another hazard to worry about. You can just order a 3D printer online, plug it in, and start using it. But you shouldn't do that until you provide adequate ventilation.



"The industry has looked the other way on topics like toxic emissions, hazardous chemicals and powders because it was being managed well by expert users, who placed 3D printers in separate rooms away from users, or in well-ventilated settings," says Andy Kalambi, president and CEO, RIZE, Inc., an additive manufacturing company. "As non-experts adopt the technology, safety and ease of use will be paramount considerations."
 

russ_watters

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Summary: 3D printers emit hazardous gasses.

:warning:

Sigh. Yet another hazard to worry about. You can just order a 3D printer online, plug it in, and start using it. But you shouldn't do that until you provide adequate ventilation.
The manufacturers are responsible for specifying ventilation requirements. I don't understand how they could get a UL listing if they don't.

Edit; Maybe I'm taking for granted something I shouldn't. I'm used to dealing with mature industries and products. Maybe there is a thin spot in regulation here.
 

anorlunda

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The manufacturers are responsible for specifying ventilation requirements. I don't understand how they could get a UL listing if they don't.

Edit; Maybe I'm taking for granted something I shouldn't. I'm used to dealing with mature industries and products. Maybe there is a thin spot in regulation here.
I'm thinking of private people setting them up in private residences, or apartments. For many of them, reading a manual or a warning sticker or a government regulation is an antiquated behavior left over from the buggy whip era.
 
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I got to use some 3D printers, the Ultimaker 2+ and 3 in a nearby library’s maker space...
No ventilation but also no weird smells from the molten plastic or PLA... and I know the temperature of the nozzle is 250 Celsius. I’m sure the material they use makes sure the molecules don’t break down at that temperature they melt.
 

Tom.G

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You can find the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for filaments of PLA, ABS, PC+PBT at:

Click the plastic you want then scroll down to a link to the MSDS.

You should read and evaluate for yourself, but my quick scanning of them indicates:
  • None are formally listed as a Hazardous Substance.
  • All three: Dust can be an irritant. Do not release to environment (fish, etc. may eat it)
  • ABS and PC+PBT emit hazardous gasses if burned (doesn't everything?). Residue build-up in machine ventilating systems may be hazardous.

Cheers,
Tom
 

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