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  • What Potential Hazards are Associated with 3D Printing? How to Prevent?

    views, Updated: 2021-09-21
    3D printing is a kind of rapid prototyping technology, also known as additive manufacturing. 3D printing usually uses digital technology material printer, based on the digital model file, using powder metal or plastic and other adhesive materials, through layer by layer printing to construct objects.
    3D printing technology can be used in jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, automobile, aerospace, dental, medical, gun, and other fields. There are many scenes of 3D printing, but we need to guard against the hazards and risks in the actual operation.
    So, what are the potential hazards of 3D printing? How should we prevent it? According to NIOSH related documents, we can find these potential hazards in 3D printing:
    Potential hazards may include:
    • Breathing and skin contact with flammable organic chemicals (VOCs) and particulates (printing) and other chemicals (post-printing)
    • Hot surfaces and moving parts
    Both of these situations may cause some hazards to our bodies. For this reason, we need to pay attention to the following parts when carrying out 3D printing operations.
    Printing Considerations:
    Printing material (e.g., use polylactic acid [PLA] filament rather than acrylonitrile butadiene styrene [ABS] when possible)
    Filaments with additives (e.g., metals, nanomaterials, carbon fibers)
    Frequency and duration of printing
    Manufacturer’s recommendations for bed and nozzle temperatures
    Work Environment Best Practices:
    Print in a negatively pressured area with a dedicated ventilation system, in an area away from other work
    Reduce time spent near the printing process (e.g., monitor remotely or leave the area)