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3D printer study drills down on potentially harmful emissions – Chicago Tribune

by • February 2, 2016 • No Comments

As the cost of 3D printing equipment drops and the maker machines increasingly are discovered in schools, libraries and homes, experts warn that the innovation may pose unseen threats to users.
According to a study accomplished by a team at the Illinois Institute of Technology, typical computer desktop 3D printing equipment emit particles and compounds during printing that federal agencies say may cause cancer or other irritations.

The study, published last month, appeared at five types of commercially on the market 3D printing equipment that print with nine various materials.
The study’s leader, Brent Stephens, an assistant professor in Illinois Tech’s department of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, said exposure should be limited.3D printing may be next of infrastructure
3D printing may be next of infrastructure
Nathan Feldman

MX3D, a Netherlands-based 3D-printing robotics company, has embarked on an ambitious project to turn it into the world’s initially 3D printed bridge.
Working together with Autodesk and construction company Heijmans, the company can realize developer Joris Laarman’s vision for spanning a canal in Amsterdam….

MX3D, a Netherlands-based 3D-printing robotics company, has embarked on an ambitious project to turn it into the world’s initially 3D printed bridge.
Working together with Autodesk and construction company Heijmans, the company can realize developer Joris Laarman’s vision for spanning a canal in Amsterdam…. (Nathan Feldman)
“A great chunk of printing equipment and filaments that are out there we quite should be worried of,” he said. “I ponder the way folks are introducing these into schools and libraries … that’s what should drive a few of the concern.”
The problem, Stephens said, is that the ultrafine particles emitted by the printing equipment, aren’t frequently controlled. People breathe in ultrafine particles all the time — of things like car exhaust, cigarette smoke and cooking — but it’s the type of particles being emitted that should raise eyebrows, he said.
The 3D printing equipment in the study that utilized a material called ABS filament (the plastic Legos are created of), emitted a particle called styrene, that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has synonymous as a possible carcinogen. It in addition discovered that 3D printing equipment via four other types of materials (nylon, PCTPE, laybrick and laywood), emitted sizeable amounts of caprolactam, that can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.A great chunk of printing equipment and filaments that are out there we quite should be worried of.- Brent Stephens, an assistant professor at Illinois Tech

“They are tiny adequate not to be caught by our nose hairs when we breathe them in,” he said. “Not all printing equipment emitted massive, massive amounts, but of half of ours did emit in what we may call a high emitter category … so that’s a little worria few.”
Dr. Jerrold Leikin, director of Medical Toxicology at the NorthShore University HealthSystem, said these types of particles are most most likely to cause irritation, not cancer.
“These are what we call mucosal irritants, that is, it irritates the membranes in the lungs, eyes, sinuses and nasal,” he said. “Within the office, the largest dangers are to people that are predisposed to pulmonary diseases — asthma, emphysema, those types of things.”
Ventilating these fumes may assist, Leikin said, that school labs most likely may already do.The 'next frontier' for 3D printing and additive making
The ‘next frontier’ for 3D printing and additive making
James Janega

As Chicago wraps its mind around 3D printing for consumers, business and transformative projects which include the UI Labs-led Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, there’s a document that provides a few broad insights.
The Wohlers report, released every spring for almost two decades…

As Chicago wraps its mind around 3D printing for consumers, business and transformative projects which include the UI Labs-led Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, there’s a document that provides a few broad insights.
The Wohlers report, released every spring for almost two decades… (James Janega)
The study suggests fixing the problem during making, since most users of 3D printing equipment most likely won’t want to invest in installing a sizeable ventilation process in their offices or homes. Manufacturers should appear to turn it into printing materials that won’t emit harmful particles when heated, or commence a filtration process to 3D printing equipment, the study said.
Some developers may already are working for a solution. Kingsport, Tenn.-based developer Eastman Chemical Co. is working on a line of co-polyesters that may be an alternative printing material. 3DPrintClean, a company out of Mountainside, N.J., not long ago launched a fully enclosed filtration process that can be put to work with most standard 3D printing equipment.
“It all but traps all the fumes and ultrafine particles and allows for you to print in all environments,” said James Nordstrom, discovereder of 3DPrintClean, who described other studies with much like findings. “It’s going to schools, libraries, private companies doing prototypes and a number of others.”
Peter Orris, chief of occupational and environmental medicine for the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, said society should take time to study the influence of new technologies as they roll out to the public.
“With these new technologies, we require to not just appear at how rad they are of the industrial engineering point of view, but we have to appear at what ought we be doing to be safe of a health point of view,” he said. “We ought to be bringing a precautionary approach, especially in this setting when we are dealing with chemicals we understand a fewthing of.”
amarotti@tribpub.com
Twitter @allymarotti


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