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

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments