3D printing holds incredible potential for manufacturing. Technology has been maturing over time, so now they are in our home workshops and school classrooms, allowing more people to get involved with 3D printing technology as a hobby or a business.
Unfortunately, your workspace air quality might be affected because of the fumes and other pollutants the 3D printer emits when making. But fortunately, there are different ways we can counter these emissions.
- First is proper ventilation to lessen the concentration of emissions in your workplace.
- Use materials that emit less to no emissions for your projects.
- You can as well use Snapmaker 2.0 air purifier.
But first, let us discuss some of the pollutants that printers give off. In an industrial setting, powerful ventilation systems are often put in place to maintain good indoor air quality, which can be stated against workplace standards set by the government. However, none of that is there in our home workplace or school users. Regulations of 3D printer technology are pretty scarce, and no one is certain to conduct inspection standards of home workshops to ensure safer printing. This means it’s up to each user to keep indoor air quality safe and healthy. And one way of achieving this is using a Snapmaker air purifier.
The 3D printer uses various methods to produce three-dimensional objects. But most people use Fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers, which extrude plastic through a nozzle, melting plastics or a specific temperature and depositing it in thin layers built up to form the desired shape. When plastics are heated, their components degrade, releasing pollutants and fumes into the air. Each 3D printer type produces different pollutants, but in this article, we will discuss FDM 3D printer pollutants. So, what are some types of 3D printer pollutants? They are two. They include the following;
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
The plastics in 3D printers are acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polylactic acid, and many more. These thermoplastics emit a range of VOCs when heated at a given temperature. Carbon monoxide may also be produced. The right air purifier technology would have to address VOCs to a certain level. The inclusion of a HEPA filter only will not filter gases but is designed for particles only. Then what kind of filters should an air purifier have to make it perfect for filtering all pollutants, particles, and gases? It is the Snapmaker air purifier; it has five different filters consolidated into one. They include the following;
- G4 filter for coarse filtration aiming at relatively bigger particles measuring ≥ 5 µm in diameter. It filters out more than 90% of PM10 and PM5.
- F9 filter for finer filtration aiming at particles that measure 1 µm or above in diameter. It filters out more than 95% of PM10, PM5, and PM2.5.
- It has a dense pack of customized activated carbon filters to absorb VOCs that particulate matter filters cannot capture. And also, the unpleasant odor will no longer be a problem.
- Two layers of 70 mm thick ultra-dense HEPA H13 filter as the final stage gate. They aim to trap up to 99.97% of airborne particles of all sizes, including the famous PM0.3, known to be the most penetrating particle in the air.
Particle Matter (PM)
There is also another area of concern that comes from heating plastics at such a high temperature. Like VOCs, these particles are also byproducts of the melted materials. They are smaller than 0.3 micrometers in diameter, which makes them easily inhaled. The long-term effect of these products has no clear report, but their inhalation after a long period might have a specific health impact on a human being. Because of their ultra-thin diameter, a unique air filter technology is needed to take care of them. And this is why Snapmaker came up with their air purifier, which has five stages of filtration that filters all sizes of particles and gases Read more