The team of experts from the Illinois Institute of Technology looked into the quantity of ultrafine particles emitted by five brands of 3D printer. The researchers also investigated the level of toxic volatile organic compounds emitted when printing materials are heated.
They found that printing in a closed space resulted in particle emission levels up to “approximately 10 times higher than what we typically observe in indoor air in our office and laboratory environments.” Certain materials even emitted carcinogens.
The researchers recommended that manufacturers work toward designing low-emission filament materials and/or printing technologies.
They also stressed that “caution should be used when operating many printer and filament combinations in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces or without the aid of gas and particle filtration systems.”
Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She's the editor-in-chief of MedicalExpo e-magazine.