How to control emissions during the 3D printing process

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It is common knowledge that during 3D printing using thermoplastic materials, there are a given amount of emissions, and these emissions rates vary from one filament to another. The heating of these filaments used in Fused Deposition Modeling printing produces some chemicals and gases or fumes into the air, which are not inhaled frequently. The fumes produced are categorized into various groups of gases known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

During 3D Printing using Thermoplastic Materials

Some people have a perception that when printing at a relatively lower temperature, then the risk associated with fumes is reduced. How so? Still, the crystal truth is that various commonly used FDM filament materials begin emitting VOCs below the temperature needed to make them pliable enough for printing. You should still use the 3D printing technique, but various ways exist to eliminate these particles and gases.

First, a user can opt for using an open space with adequate ventilation for the printer. This will primarily keep the fumes and particles released by the printing procedure from concentrating. The method has benefited many 3D printer users; therefore, you can also give it a shot.

Another aspect is considering the filament and printer choice. Note that not all 3D printer filaments are the same, just as different materials have different properties in the same way; filaments also produce different emissions levels. For instance, PLA and ABS produce very different amounts of both VOCs. Additionally, it has been reported that there is a significant variation within each type of filament. The researchers realized that a spool of the same material purchased from different suppliers releases a significantly different amount of VOCs and other particles.

Furthermore, one’s choice of printer affects how many fumes and VOCs you will be exposed to. In most cases, industrial 3D printers are built with vents into them. It is quite unfortunate that some cheap 3D printers do not have the vent feature. Therefore, it is clear that cheap 3D printing users are frequently exposed to a higher level of VOCs than professionals who use the best 3D printers regularly.

Best-Rated Air Purifier

Another way of minimizing emissions is using the best-rated air purifier to ensure you are safe from harmful airborne contaminants. When you use the right air purifier, it will help you capture both the particles and gases that the 3D printer produces. Therefore, it is vital to think and consider keenly what kind of air purifier you will go for.

Best Budget air Purifier

So, what makes a good air purifier? The filtration feature is the most significant thing that makes an air purifier perfect. For instance, Snapmaker 2.0 air purifier, the best budget air purifier, has five layers of different filters consolidated into one. The filtration is put into place to capture what’s actually emitted during laser engraving are 3D printing process. The filtrations include;

The G4 filter for coarse filtration is primarily

  • The G4 filter for coarse filtration is primarily designed to capture relatively bigger particles (≥ 5 µm in diameter). It is reported to filter out more than 90% of PM10 and PM5.
  • The F9 filter for finer filtration was designed to work at particles that measure 1 µm or above in diameter. It casts out more than 95% of PM10, PM5, and PM2.5.
  • Customized activated carbon filter has been packed densely to absorb VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that particulate matter filters can’t capture. It also eliminates the unpleasant odor.
  • It has two layers of 70 mm-thick HEPA H13 filter as the final point. They can trap up to 99.97% of airborne particles of all sizes, including PM0.3, which are of being the most penetrating particles in the air. Hence making it an ultra-dense HEPA H13 filter
  • Air pollution is a big problem in many places around the world, and it can hurt our health in a lot of ways. One solution to this problem is to use an air purifier, which can get rid of harmful particles and pollutants from the air we breathe. The Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier is one of the best-rated air purifiers on the market today.
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