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Potential risks of 3D Printing: Insight from recent reports

The rise of accessible 3D printing technology means that desktop 3D printers are now a popular addition to many classrooms and businesses. With the increased popularity, comes higher awareness that users could be exposed to potentially harmful gases and particles.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recently published reports about the possible risks to health for those using 3D printers. HSE’s report found that printers “emit many particles of a size range that can potentially enter the airways and lungs”. EPA’s report provides evidence that common 3D printer materials, called filaments, can emit gases during the printing phase that may pose a health risk to users and bystanders. It states that most concerning of these emissions are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and possible effects of how these change when certain additives are introduced to the 3D printing filament. HSE’s report agrees, stating “some plastic filament materials, when heated, were found to release vapours known to be hazardous to health”.

Ensuring you have adequate fume extraction in place will help to control emissions and reduce the risks to users.

BOFA has the answer…

BOFA’s 3D PrintPRO range provides effective fume extraction and filtration in compact units. The HSE report references our 3D PrintPRO range when discussing exposure control. Our systems have been designed for the specific application of controlling emissions from 3D printers, capturing and filtering out harmful airborne gases without affecting the printing processes.

In addition to supporting fabrication processes, we also provide extraction for photopolymerization processes, binder jetting, powder bed fusion and other additive manufacturing processes.

View our full 3D PrintPRO range online to find out more, alternatively speak to one of our experts who will be able to offer advice and help find the right product for you.

Read full reports here:

Measuring and controlling emissions from polymer filament desktop 3D printers

VOC Emissions Influenced by Polymer Additives in 3D Printing