Ventilation & 3D Printing: Things to Consider

Alex DanisMay 25, 2020

Have you ever wondered about the effects of the sweet smell, your 3D printer emits while printing, can have on your body? Here are a few things that you need to know about the effect of 3D printing by-products on your health and what you can do to mitigate them.

3D printers in Canada

How Can 3D Printing By-Products Affect Me?

Studies show that a working 3D printer emits substances such as Ultrafine Particles (UPs), styrene and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The sweet-smelling fumes that you see during a PLA 3D printing are laced with UPs and VOCs. The popular ABS filament produces fumes that are rich in UPs, styrene and VOCs.

While these particles and substances may not be harmful in limited quantities but regular exposure can lead to serious medical conditions.

So what is the remedy to this problem? Ventilation! The best way to mitigate this issue is by setting up your printer in a space that allows cross-ventilation. Pick a space like your garage or your toolshed to set up your printing space to ensure that you are not stuck in an enclosed space full of 3D printing fumes.

What If I Do Not Have an External Space?

Do not worry if you do not have garage space or any outdoor space where you can move your printing set up. You can easily use one of the following methods to ensure that the air in your working space is less toxic and your space is more ventilated:

Install Air Purifiers

The easiest way to manage toxicity in the air is by installing an air purifier. If you do not have access to an open space, you should get an air purifier for your printing room. Look for purifiers that use HEPA filters or charcoal filters. Air purifiers are available in different sizes, so pick one that is designed for your room size.

Get Air Extractors

If an air purifier is not within your budget, you can look at the next best option - air extractors. Air extractors use a fan and suction pipes to such out warm air and push in cooler air. They are great at ventilating a closed space. They are usually available in two forms - twin reversible air extractors with thermostats and reversible airflow extractors without thermostats.

Use on PLA for printing

The easiest and most affordable option is to limit your options in filaments. You can restrict yourself only to 3D printing using the PLA filament. You can easily find this 3D printing filament PLA on Amazon and local stores. But even in this case, you will have to limit the number of hours that you spend on printing.

Build an Outdoor Enclosure

If you want to take the matter into your own hands and set up an outdoor enclosure for your 3D printer that is a great idea too! For setting this up, you will need to create an airtight enclosure with a fan, a dry hose that opens outside your house and carbon filters. The filters will absorb the particulate substances and the hose will serve as an inlet and outlet for air.

These are some extremely simple solutions to solving the issue of ventilation in your printing room without spending a lot. If you are still not sure, you can reach out to experts at Filaments, a leading name in 3D printing in Toronto for more guidance.

Let Us Help You Set Up the Perfect Printing Station!

Filaments specializes in 3D printers in Canada, resins and accessories for 3D printing in Canada. For more information or setting up an appointment you can reach out to us by calling at our toll free number 1-888-536-5551 or 905-677-1337.

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