More and more individuals and professionals are using 3D printers to enhance their creative process. If this technology is particularly powerful and efficient, it is nonetheless dangerous for your health. Indeed, the filaments used in 3D printing release harmful particles into the air, and this is not the only problem you will face. That is why, there are specialists in this field, such as Alveo 3D, providing any safety equipment to protect users and 3D printers, from HEPA filters to printing enclosures. Injuries and toxicity: here are 5 safety measures to consider when using a 3D printer.

Safety Tips About 3d Printers

First Safety Measure: Be Aware Of Toxic Fumes

3d printer

Studies conducted while 3D printing shows a high production of nanoparticles linked to the composition of the filaments used. However, many beginners in 3D printing do not take all the necessary measures to protect themselves from these harmful fumes. To limit the risks, here are some safety tips:

  • Print in a well-ventilated room to avoid headaches, dizziness, or drowsiness
  • Wear appropriate respiratory protection equipment (RPE)
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated carbon to absorb nanoparticles, VOC, and dangerous fumes.

Second Safety Measure: Stay Away From The Heated Parts

In order to melt the filament, the 3D printer can reach very high temperatures. Depending on the material used, the hot end operated to extrude the filament can reach 300 °C. Any contact with those printer components will get you burnt. To minimize those risks:

  • Secure access to the 3D printer (beware of children and pets)
  • Wear high-quality gloves when handling your 3D printer. As much as possible, avoid contact with hot parts such as the nozzle or heat bed.

Third Safety Measure: Be Careful With Scraper Blades

3d printer

It is common to try to remove your new creation from the printer with a sharp blade, such as a scraper blade. However, it is often necessary to fight a battle with it before being able to recover it. This part is the reason for a great number of injuries. To avoid a cut, here is a list of things you can do:

  • Keep both hands on the tool
  • Wear quality gloves when removing your 3D prints
  • Always scrape in the opposite direction (away from your body)

Fourth Safety Measure: Avoid Pinch Point Injuries

3D printer moves continuously from X to Y, from Y to Z, and then back to X. Most of the time, these movements are precise, but one of the main flaws is that there is no feedback system. In case your finger or one of your clothes gets caught, there is no emergency stop system. You need to address those safety issues by:

  • Once again, wearing quality gloves
  • Not wearing loose clothes
  • Only reaching for your printer if you are certain it is off

Fifth Safety Measure: Follow General Safety Provisions

3d printer

The number one rule when using an electric device is to always follow the recommendations from the user manual. It gives you basic but very important guidelines such as installing your printer in a well-ventilated room (in order to get rid of fumes) or washing your hands after each manipulation. For a safer use:

  • Wear equipment adapted to 3D printing: long pants, closed-toe shoes, gloves, splash goggles…
  • When possible, use less emissive filaments (e.g. PLA).

3D printing must be done in compliance with the recommendations from the user manual and the general safety rules. If the manufacturer offers enclosures or exhaust ventilation kits, you should definitely purchase them.

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