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  • Could the Work Activity Cause Exposures When 3D Printing? What is the Likelihood of Exposure?

    3D printing is a technology based on the digital model file, which uses adhesive materials such as powder metal or plastic to construct objects by layer printing. It can be used in automobile, aerospace, medical, and other fields.
     
    Although 3D printing is good, we still need to pay attention to it. Improper operation is likely to cause potential physical injury to our operators. For example, breathing or skin contact with flammable organic chemicals (VOCs), microparticles (printed), and other chemicals (after printing) could be dangerous.
     
    So when 3D printing, work activities cause the exposure of organic chemicals and particles? Of course. Here, we list 17 potential exposures during pre-printing, printing, post-printing, maintenance, and cleaning. Further details are as follows:
     
    8 Higher Potential for Exposures:
     
    Pre-printing
    • Cleaning printer heads/nozzles
    • Heating nozzles
     
    Printing
    • Using printer in the general office work area
    • Working near the printer
    • Going to the printer quickly after print failures and during start-up
     
    Post-printing
    • Removing support structures with solvents or other chemicals
    • Post-processing activities with filaments containing nanomaterials
     
    Maintenance and Cleaning
    • Cleaning printer head/build plate with solvents
     
    9 Lower potential for exposures:
     
    Pre-printing
    • Loading filament into the printer
    • Changing printer heads/nozzles
    • Prepping build plate
     
    Printing
    • Using video monitoring
     
    Post-printing
    • Removing part and changing filaments
    • Scraping build plate with tools
     
    Maintenance and Cleaning
    • Changing filament
    • Collecting ISTE
    • Housekeeping
     
    If you want to learn more about 3D printing for human health and safety, please view this article: 3D Printing with Filaments: Health and Safety Questions to Ask
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