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Do Resin Printer Emissions Need Better Designs?

3 Oct 2021

Credit To All3DP.com

HEPA air filters are a far more common feature on FDM printers today. This may be linked to a 2018 study that found emissions from the printers could be harmful to your health. Now, a similar study on resin printers found that they produce even more harmful emissions than FDM printers.

This study by Chemical Insights, an institute of safety science company Underwriters Laboratories, doesn’t mean you can’t have your resin printer in your office anymore. In fact, it states that “emission rates and estimated office exposure levels for chemicals of concern were below those indicated in regulation and guidance.” However, the study did say that the chemicals involved in resin printing, washing, and curing, which include a host of alcohols, aldehydes, and acrylates, “could present a strong irritation response among those exposed.”

Another difference between FDM and resin printing emissions, the study found, is that the chemicals are different. Many of the emitted chemicals from SLA 3D printing were not commonly observed from previously studied FDM 3D printing. The “chemicals of concern” involved in resin printing, the report found, include formaldehyde, which is a human carcinogen, acetaldehyde from printing, and methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) and naphthalene from washing.

Most resin printers already come packaged with safety instructions detailing the ventilation and exposure mitigation steps you should be taking, but this study establishes the risks and, like with FDM printers, may lead to better resin 3D printer design.

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