October 8, 2022

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Is 3D Printing Hazardous for Your Health?

Is 3D Printing Hazardous for Your Health?
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3D printing has rapidly gained popularity in manufacturing as well known in additive manufacturing. This innovative technology enables manufacturers to produce products using a combination of cheap and highly accessible materials. As 3D printing increases in popularity, numerous health hazards in 3D printing are only beginning to be recognised. It is critical that organisations become familiar with the unique health risks involved to protect all workers involved in 3D printing and how these risks can be properly combated with appropriate practices and PPE.

 

Give attention to know 3D printing hazardous while working 

The 3D printer is an advanced device that can be used to create dimensional objects using input on a computer and filaments or printed materials. Essentially, until a three-dimensional shape is created, the printer stacks several layers of raw material.

In the majority of 3D printers, a plasticized filament is used as feedstock. The threaded filament is fed by an element of heating to liquefy the fluid and release it into an object through a controlled nozzle. Breathing harmless chemicals, skin exposed to harmful chemicals or solvents, and fire and explosion risks may also include hazards of 3d printing. You should know before working and some printers work at very high temperatures, which may also result in the user being at risk of burning.

 

Health risk of working with 3D printing 

However, the risks of 3D printing can vary according to the type of device, material, and equipment used. For example, some printers used fine powders to cause a hazard to the skin or respiratory system, while others could use ABS filaments to produce hazardous emissions when heated. 

The ultrafine particle exposure and volatile organic compounds present two primary threats. UFPs are called nanoparticles because they have a measuring size of between 1 and 100 nanometres. These little particles are so small that they can be inhaled, travel through the bloodstream and even enter the body. Exposure to UFPs was associated with:

  • Cardiovascular issues 
  • It creates respiratory diseases 
  • It also causes Lung cancer 

Even at room temperature, VOCs can vaporise. These organic chemicals can saturate the air and cause health hazards in the surrounding environment. Some of the materials commonly used in 3D printing, such as nylon, PLA and ABS, produce VOCs such as butanol and styrene in particular. Certain VOCs are considered active carcinogenic cancer-causing agents. VOCs may, however, have other harmful health effects, such as:

  • Central nervous system damage
  • Irritation of the throat, nasal passages, and eyes
  • Loss of general coordination, Headaches
  • Nausea and skin irritation

 

Ways to protect your health by using PPE while performing 3D-printing tasks

Many of the organizations are getting benefits with the help of 3D printing technology, so they will not allow their employers to stop the work because of the health hazards. But the business owner offers PPE and other safety measures guidelines to their employees. 

Every 3D printing worker should know the safety tips while working in the field. When you follow the safety measure, then you will not be affected by any kind of health issues. Most business owners opt for the good quality of PPE equipment to save their employer’s health

 

Smart Manufacture Safe 3D Printing

As quick prototyping and production become, the new normal, 3D printing will be an even greater factor in production. 85% of manufacturers reported that industrial additive manufacturing could increase their revenue for their business in an Essentium survey by the industrial 3D printing solutions provider. Considering the increasing adoption of 3D printing and the increasing combination of print materials and complex chemicals, manufacturers must learn more about the 3d printing health hazards in protecting employees at their plant.

  • Placing local filtered exhaust ventilation with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) close to printers.
  • If it proves to be effective, use ventilated enclosures or containments.
  • Locate the printer below a fume hood or close to an outdoor explosion.
  • Develop a series of standard operating procedures to reduce exposure probability.
  • Prohibition of food and beverage consumption by printers.
  • Using personal protective appliances such as thermal or chemical-resistant gloves, safety glasses and facial coats and overalls.
  • When appropriate, consider the use of respiratory protective equipment.

 

The bottom line 

You can easily get protection when you follow the safety guidelines. In addition, proper PPE use in 3D printing is one of the easiest step’s organisations can take to ensure the security of 3D printing by their employees.