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Monday, November 9, 2015

Some 3D Printed Objects Are Toxic

Study Shows Some 3D Printed Objects Are Toxic (+Video)

Sean Nealong | November 4, 2015

[Blogger's note: The third link below at the end of the post discusses an important topic often overlooked in Library Makerspaces, namely ultrafine particle emissions generated during 3D printing. The article suggests the need for ventilation when doing 3D printing.]

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found parts produced by some commercial 3D printers are toxic to certain fish embryos. Their results have raised questions about how to dispose of parts and waste materials from 3D printers.
"These 3D printers are like tiny factories in a box," said William Grover, an assistant professor of bioengineering in the Bourns College of Engineering. "We regulate factories. We would never bring one into our home. Yet, we are starting to bring these 3D printers into our homes like they are toasters."


<more at; related links: (3D printing market to grow to US$16.2 billion in 2018. Technology advances and decreasing expense will enable the market to expand from a value of US$2.5 billion in 2013. March 31, 2014) and (Ultrafine particle emissions from desktop 3D printers. Brent Stephens, Parham Azimi, Zeineb El Orch, and Tiffanie Ramos. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.06.050. [Abstract: The development of low-cost desktop versions of three-dimensional (3D) printers has made these devices widely accessible for rapid prototyping and small-scale manufacturing in home and office settings. Many desktop 3D printers rely on heated thermoplastic extrusion and deposition, which is a process that has been shown to have significant aerosol emissions in industrial environments. However, we are not aware of any data on particle emissions from commercially available desktop 3D printers. Therefore, we report on measurements of size-resolved and total ultrafine particle (UFP) concentrations resulting from the operation of two types of commercially available desktop 3D printers inside a commercial office space. We also estimate size-resolved (11.5 nm–116 nm) and total UFP (<100 nm) emission rates and compare them to emission rates from other desktop devices and indoor activities known to emit fine and ultrafine particles. Estimates of emission rates of total UFPs were large, ranging from ∼2.0 × 1010 # min−1 for a 3D printer utilizing a polylactic acid (PLA) feedstock to ∼1.9 × 1011 # min−1 for the same type of 3D printer utilizing a higher temperature acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) thermoplastic feedstock. Because most of these devices are currently sold as standalone devices without any exhaust ventilation or filtration accessories, results herein suggest caution should be used when operating in inadequately ventilated or unfiltered indoor environments. Additionally, these results suggest that more controlled experiments should be conducted to more fundamentally evaluate particle emissions from a wider arrange of desktop 3D printers.])>

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