How 3D Printing At Home Can Be Bad For Your Health

Posted Jul 26, 2013

According to ScienceDirect, researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology have looked at particle emissions of 3D printers used in homes.  Most industrial 3D printers use ventilation shafts and filters to make sure that airborne particles are evacuated.  But 3D printers in homes generally do not have the same ventilation.  This could lead to health issues.

Brent Stephens of the Illinois Institute of Technology used five models of popular 3D printers at the 3D Printer Experience.  The study does not directly name the models used, but the company advertises that they use the UP Mini and the MakerBot Replicator.  Models that use ABS and PLA polymers as a plastic feedstock as “high emitters” of ultra fine particles, according to The Verge.

UFPs can end up in a person’s lungs and can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  If there is a high concentration of UFPs, it could eventually lead to lung cancer, a stroke, or symptoms around asthma.

Researchers are recommending that people remain cautious when using 3D printers in unvented indoor environments.