How Toxic Are ABS & PLA Fumes? Examines VOCs
Polyga meets prosumer demand with new line of HDI Compact 3D scanners
Kodak and Twindom launch 3D scanning booth at CES 2018
SHINING 3D unveils EinScan Discovery and HD Prime Packs at CES 2018
3D printing 10 times cheaper than machining for Moog Aircraft Group
Metal 3D printed engine parts flown on Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Super Hornet
Latcore cuts lead times by 95% with switch to 3D printing
7 billion Melrose takeover bid sends GKN share price soaring, metal powder business in cross-hairs
Danish Technological Institute to open $14.5 million 3D printing facility
GE ups stake in Arcam EBM expands additive manufacturing in Sweden
Manufacturing Technologies Association supports UK Year of Engineering
PrintLab encourages humanities 3D printing with new Classroom portal
Imperial 3D printing report calls for bridge between science and engineering
Interview: Raise3D CEO on how to run a 3D printing business
IDC forecasts worldwide spending on 3D printing to be nearly $12 billion in 2018
The Best 3D printers of 2018? 3D Printing Industry Awards nominations update
Kidney transplant using 3D printing marks a medical first in Belfast
3D Systems completes 100,000 medical cases, deal with Stryker for 3D printed medical models
The Spotify of drugs? Lee Cronins pick and mix 3D printed lab kit
The Leapfrog Bolt Pro 3D printer review
MakePrintable file fixing is a 3D printers best friend
Local Motors receives billion dollar support for Olli 3D printed bus
DNV GL publishes first class guideline for maritime additive manufacturing
The HENSOLDT AM Suite is a mobile, self-sufficient 3D printing cell
How Toxic Are ABS & PLA Fumes? 3Dsafety.org Examines VOCs
While everyone knows the unpleasant odor from ABS cannot possibly be healthy to breathe in, most of us generally do not really care. However, not only ABS, but also PLA, may release toxic fumes known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Carbon). Not all VOCs are actually toxic, but some may be, especially for younger users. Before this becomes a serious health issue, a new study conducted by3Dsafety.org, in collaboration with Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP, has analysed the exact quantities of toxic VOCs as well as potentially dangerous nanoparticles released during filament extrusion, in order to assess the potential health risks.
The new study, presented by Dr. Fabrizio Merlo and Dr. Eng. Stefano Mazzoni, starts off from other previous research conducted in the early 90s, which demonstrated that during the fusion and processing of plastic materials, several toxic particles are released as gases, including ammonia, cyanidric acid, phenol, and benzene, among others.
The lab tests showed that ABS is significantly more toxic than PLA, but that the corn-based polymer is not exempt form dangerous emissions, especially if extruded at temperatures higher than 200C. Furthermore (as may be expected), the same material spools, when acquired from different resellers, release very different quantities of VOCs, even if used in the same 3D printer and under the same parameters of speed and temperature.
A second critical aspect is that relating to the emission of nanoparticles, that is, particles with a diameter smaller than .1 micron, which can be absorbed directly by the pulmonary alveolus and the epidermis. In this case, the emissions, when using ABS, vary from 3 to 30 times those that occur when using PLA filament. The test also demonstrated that the time necessary for the nanoparticle concentration in the air to go back to standard levels was between 10 and 30 minutes after the extrusion processes stopped. Through a photo-ionization technology, the study (which has been published on 3Dsafety.organd will progressively be updated with further information) was also conducted on nylon, polystyrene, PET and other materials.
Among the effects that the absorption of toxic VOCs and nanoparticles can cause to humans, the most common are pulmonary pathologies, such as bronchitis, tracheitis, asthma. In some cases, these substances can also cause certain types of cancers, so this is not something to be taken lightly. The solution, however, is not too complicated. 3Dsafety.org, in collaboration with WASP, is working to increase awareness as to the potential risks of toxic emissions from filament, while several practical tips can be implemented right away.
For example, working in well ventilated rooms: the ideal solution would be using an air ventilation system capable of moving three times the rooms volume of air in one hour. This means that a room measuring 100 cubic meters should have a system capable of displacing 300 cubic meters of air in one hour. When using closed-chamber 3D printers, it may be possible in the near future to implement an active carbon filtration device, and the team is actively working toward development of a device specifically tailored for 3D printers, which can be regulated according to the type of filament material used.
Certainly this does not mean we should all just stop using 3D printers. However, dealing with the potential health risks of 3D printing materials early is the best way to make sure this technology evolves in a way that we can maximise its benefits and limit any risks involved.
Davide was born in Milan, Italy and moved to New York at age 14, which is where he received his education, all the way to a BA. He moved back to Italy at 26 and began working as an editor for a trade magazine in the videogame industry. As the market shifted toward new business models Davide started working for YouTech, the first iPad native technology magazine in Italy, where he discovered the world of additive manufacturing and became extremely fascinated by its incredible potential. Davide has since started to work as a freelance journalist and collaborate with many of Italys main generalist publications such as Corriere della Sera, Panorama, Focus Italy and Wired Italy: many of his articles have revolved around the different applications of 3D printing.
Anonymous Source: 3D Systems Reportedly Shutting Down Andover, MA Facility
BBC micro:bit Even More Accessible for Schools with Free CAD Resources
The Leapfrog Bolt Pro 3D printer review
Trends in Additive Manufacturing for end-use production with Carbon
First ever US sternum replacement with 3D printed composite implant
First look at IN(3D)USTRY additive manufacturing hub Barcelona 2017
INL 3D prints safer nuclear power cells
Fraunhofer IWU and CMS partner to make mega 5 axis 3D printer hybrid
3D Printing News Sliced: MakePrintable, Stratasys, EOS, Dinara Kasko
3D Printing News Sliced: Duke, Mini, German RepRap, Prodways
3D Printing News Sliced: Otterbox, Sigma Labs, Jaguar and giant LEGO
UAntwerp 3D printed Project ASLAN crosses sign language barriers with 3D Hubs