Sep.23, 2012

Is 3D printing safe? taulman, creator of 2BEIGH3 3D Printer, built a test apparatus to measure the safety of the material used in DIY 3D printers. All of the tests were done in a small enclosed area.

What gas would make 3D Printing unsafe?
An excessive amount of Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN). HCN can be produced by heating ABS and Nylon for 3D printing, and the international (OSHA NIOSH ACGIH) maximum allowable exposure to HCN is 4.7ppm.

taulman tested a few 3D printing materials with actually printing, it shows how little HCN is really given off, for example, the resulting HCN measurement of 3D printing ABS and Nylong was none, and two brands of trimmer line was just .1ppm. "You will probably encounter more HCN at an outdoor marshmallow campfire than we measured in our testing." says Taulman.

Is HCN the only dangerous off-gas? He also tested Carbon monoxide (CO) due to its toxicity, all of the test results show that 3D printing materials that we have all been using for years are safe.

But is there any other things that comes out from the hot plastic? Often you smell something... taulman suggests that you can download this pdf for a complete list of known emissions. It shows "The principal gases which appear to be responsible for the observed toxicity are HCN and CO." taulman says "most gas emissions begin at much higher temperatures than we use for 3D printing."

Here you can find a great write up and DIY guide written by taulman going through the steps of building a tester and the testing process.

(Images credit: taulman)

Posted in 3D Printing Technology




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