Health Risks And Job Loss
The Dangers Of 3D Printing: Part II
In Part I of The Dangers Of 3D Printing, we discussed the impact that 3D Printers are having and will continue to have on the job market, specifically in manufacturing. In this article we will discuss the health concerns that are being discussed more frequently with the increasing popularity of 3D Printers. The concern that arises pertains to the release of Ultra-fine Particles (UFP’s). UFP’s are simply small particles of Print Filament released into the air when it is heated to be used for Printing. Scientists aren’t sure of the effects of the particles but compare the release of these particles by 3D Printers of being equivalent to cooking indoors on a gas or electric stove top. There are many articles floating around the internet that 3D Printers can cause a stroke or similar serious health concern. After much scouring and research we have discovered that all of the concerns regarding breathing in these particles can be addressed through proper ventilation. A good place to use your Printer would be your garage or a workshop. Larger rooms in your home with cross ventilation, windows or other means of ventilation that are on/open on more than one side of the roon. We always recommend an open window, preferably one with a window fan in it set to exhaust.
Another concern that comes up is that since most Printer Filaments are made from plastics won’t that contribute to the pollution problem for landfills, oceans, and other areas? We do believe that irresponsible manufacturing of any kind is a very bad idea and as far as we have seen always leads to poor waste management and increased pollution. With 3D Printers this does not have to be the case. Not only are there more environmentally freindly Filaments, such as PLA, the Laywood-D3 Wood Filament, and the Taulman-645 Nylon-based Filament. There are businesses already converting waste into Filaments which are then again turned into usable objects. These businesses are using plastic that is already there and which is in great supply; these services contribute to environmental responsibility on a local and international level as there will be an increased incentive for people to recycle packaging and old products as well as clean/pick up “junk” plastic that can be melted down and used to make 3D Printed objects. One such company is Filabot, they offer Fialments made from new as well as recycled plastics. They also offer recycling services. What we are most excited about by Filabot is There Wee Kit which gives you the ability to make your own Filament from plastic pellets allowing you to choose your color, width, length, and other features of your Filament. This saves you a lot of money over purchasing new Filament! Also, there are 3D Printers that do not have to heat Plastic to create objects, such as the Mini Metal Maker, that works with eco-friendly Clay to make metal objects. We will continue to keep you updated on “The Dangers Of 3D Printing”; job and health concerns with 3D Printing.
Happy and Responsible Printing!