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!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Printersperipherals3d printing

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments