The health impact of 3D printing is often overlooked. However, that there are health implications cannot be denied – after all, 3D printing involves the use of high temperature and pressure equipment and powdered materials. This article looks at some of the work on managing the risks.
Researchers from the Built Environment Research Group, operating out of the Illinois Institute of Technology, have been testing desktop 3D printers for VOC and other particle emissions. The research has involved testing various commercial desktop 3D printers, such as the UP BOX+ 3D printer, to see whether features like an enclosed chamber and HEPA filter efficiently reduce UFP and VOC emissions, which can be harmful to one’s health.
The results of the study, which were recently published in a report titled “Enclosure performance: Ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) removal efficiency of desktop 3D printer enclosures,” show that the UP BOX+ adequately reduced emissions and particles. The printer’s enclosed chamber allowed for a 74% reduction in UFP emissions, and the HEPA filter system upped that percentage to 91%.