Menu
That nifty 3D printer may be slowly poisoning you

That nifty 3D printer may be slowly poisoning you

It's only one study, but perhaps you should use your fancy new toy in a well ventilated environment.

Hey, hobbyface! Those are some cool little trinkets you made with your desktop 3D printer! Unfortunately, your fancy little device may be poisoning the very air you breathe! At least that's the possible findings of one study from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Before you freak out, the keywords to take note of here are "may" and "possible." The findings show a marked increase in the density of ultrafine particles (UFPs) in the air around desktop 3D printers using both ABS and PLA plastic feedstocks. UFPs are of concern as their teeny-tiny size (in the scope of this study, those particles measuring smaller than 100 nanometers) allows them to easily enter the heart and lungs. Previous studies have documented how both plastic feedstocks can produce hazardous materials when they encounter high temperatures, such as those created by desktop 3D printers.

The researchers measured particle concentrations in the air of an office space belonging to an unnamed company that specializes in 3D printer education, training, and sales to the general public. The study found a large increase in the amount of UFPs around the machines over the course of one day's operation.

Put this in some perspective

So, how bad is the exposure of these materials? According to the report study, the total UFP emission rate for a single 3D printer using a PLA feedstock was similar to that from using an electric frying pan. The same 3D printer using an ABS feedstock exhibited far higher UFP emissions, similar to using a gas or electric stove.

The research team did not determine the exact chemical stew created by the printers, and only concluded that these devices should be classified as "high emitters." These findings are only of possible concern as the plastics used by these high-emitting machines can, as previously noted, create all sorts of nasty stuff at high temperatures.

More research is certainly needed.

Perhaps the takeaway for all you desktop creators exploring this cool new medium is this: Be on the safe side and open a window.

[The Verge]

Follow @TechHive on Twitter today.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Printersperipherals3d printing

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments