3D Printer Enclosure & Indoor Air Quality Guide

With reports of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ultra fine particles (UFPs) emissions from 3D printers, you may have wondered if you need an enclosure with ventilation. Expert reports recommend ventilation if you are operating your printer in a poorly ventilated space.

3D printers are electronic devices that heat material to a melting point and as such, emit VOCs and UFPs. If one visualizes desktop 3d printers as small manufacturing machines, it becomes easier to accept that principles of worker and environment protection followed by industrial factories can apply to oneself and one’s home.

Objects that burn or heat are generally sources of VOCs. According to the American Lung Association, VOCs are “are gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes.”  Other sources include: Flooring, carpet, pressed wood products, varnishes, copiers, glue, cosmetics, deodorants, and dry-cleaned clothing.

Burning and heating objects usually produce UFPs as well. “Particles that are less than 100 nm [nano meter] in diameter are commonly defined as ultrafine.” link Cooking appliances, candle burning, and heating devices are a few of the other sources of UFPs.

Photo credit: yoan carle

This post consists of six pages. Page navigation is available at the bottom of each page.

Page 1 – Introduction. Page 2 – Reports. Page 3 – Report Summaries or Recommendations. Page 4 – Ready-made Enclosures. Page 5 – Filters. Page 6 – Ready-made filters.

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