Sep 30, 2015 | By Alec

With 3D printers invading schools and living rooms, it is probably a good thing that people are starting to look into health related issues as well. After all, we’ve all smelled the fumes coming off molten plastic, and if plastic can kill animals, what does it do for our lungs? While there is no such thing as oversight on toxic particles in 3D printable filaments, 3D printer manufacturers Cartesio and fume extraction and filtration system developer BOFA have already joined forces to develop the 3D PrintPro Fume Extraction System to make 3D printing healthier for all those involved.

To explain, BOFA International is a world leader in the development, manufacture and supply of fume extraction and filtration systems, and have recently joined forces with Dutch 3D printer developers Cartesio. You might have heard of the latter company for their similarly named and very cool looking FDM 3D printers. As Cartesio’s Managing Director Jos Scheepers explains to, this new partnership has resulted in a fume extraction unit that will be incorporated into every single Cartesio 3D printer from now on.

As he explains, the fumes released by high temperature 3D printing can definitely be harmful. ‘Although many of the particles emitted are so small they are not visible to the naked eye, they are still present and potentially harmful. In addition, some materials, especially plastics and ABS in particular, generate fumes with a particularly unpleasant odour,’ he says. And with an eye on 3D printers entering schools, Cartesio wanted to do something to make their machines as safely as possible. However, the Fume Extraction System is equally useful for SLA 3D printing, he adds, as resin 3D printers can also release harmful solvent gases into the direct breathing area.

However, there is also a purely practical advantage that these systems bring to the table, as the mini sticky plastic droplets released into the air can negatively affect your 3D printer’s performance as well. They tend to build up on a 3D printer’s moving parts, something that either requires regular cleaning, or can be one of those causes for mysterious underperformance. Finally, the system can avoid the risk of costly Health and Safety litigations for employers in the near future, Scheepers adds.

So how does the BOFA 3D PrintPRO system work? Well, it can be a useful addition to any 3D printer, regardless of whether it has an (partially) open frame or a good enclosure, and doesn’t cause filament to cool quicker. ‘The filter design includes Health and Safety compliant HEPA grade particulate filter media, which has an efficiency of 99.997% at 0.3micron, and deep bed activated carbon filters to remove organic gases and vapors,’ Scheepers says.

Different models have been developed to match different 3D printer setups.

BOFA, said that they have been interested in the 3D printing market for some time, especially as it is a quickly growing market in which more health risks are being identified. ‘The BOFA name has a long association with industrial Health and Safety compliance and the protection of workers. Whilst we have an established presence in many sectors, the 3D market is of particular interest. As it is growing so quickly, more and more printing applications and materials are being identified and it is important that the associated health risks are suitably managed.,’ Managing Director Tony Lockwood says. ‘The development of the 3D PrintPRO range provides a great solution for today’s applications. We would welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge with sellers and printer manufacturers who are looking for added safety assurance for future products.’

The 3D PrintPRO systems are suitable for use with SLA, SLS, FDM, PolyJet and WDM (Wax Deposition Modelling) 3D printers.



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories





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Jos Scheepers wrote at 10/1/2015 12:10:59 PM:

We (Cartesio) also sell these extraction units as a separate unit. Costs are EUR550,- excl VAT for the extraction unit incl. hose and hose connection to a 80mm fan connection. Here is a link:

BobFalcon wrote at 10/1/2015 9:56:23 AM:

I'm interested in this extraction system, but I cannot find any price on the bofa website. Does somebody knows how much it is ?

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