DIY 3D Tech

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3D Print Air Quality – Is Printing with ABS Dangerous!

In this episode, we will be starting a multi-part series where we look at how various filament affect the air quality which we, our family and even pets (save for fish) breath in. Now before we go further, a medical disclaimer here as I am not a doctor nor heath care professional nor have I ever even played one on TV. So these are only my opinions and observations which I am sharing. These are not endorsements, issuance’s or warranties of any kind.

With that out of the way, we start with looking at ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) which is known to break down into some not nice stuff (see more here: ) when heated. Also for these test, we have tried several testing scenario as well as checked for repeatably to ensure the results there not one off anaolalies.

If your interested in getting one of these meters, here is the link where you can find several options:

Other related videos:
Shop Talk – 3D Printing and Air Quality:
Shop Talk – Unboxing an Air Quality Meter for 3D Printer Testing:

Couple points worth note:

[1] Just because you don’t “smell” something doesn’t mean there aren’t particles in the air.
[2] Measurements in the video are for formaldehyde registering substances and TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compound

This means there could be other “bad” things in the air which we are not measuring. So this is why one of the larger data points we will focus on are PM2.5 counts. So you might ask why we are so concerned about this? Well, Since they are so small and light, PM2.5 particles tend to stay longer in the air than their heavier siblings the PM10 particles. This increases the chances of humans and animals inhaling them and due to their small size, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers are able to bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs with some may even enter the circulatory system.

There have been studies which have found a close link between exposure to fine particles and premature death from heart and lung disease. Fine particles are also known to trigger or worsen chronic disease such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems as well as a Journal of the American Medical Association ( paper which suggests that “long-term exposure to PM2.5 may lead to plaque deposits in arteries, causing vascular inflammation and a hardening of the arteries which can eventually lead to heart attack and stroke. Scientists in the study estimated that for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) increase in fine particulate air pollution, there is an associated 4%, 6% and 8% increased risk of all-cause, cardiopulmonary and lung cancer mortality, respectively”

Now the goal this project is not to promote fear mongering, however information as homes are not factory’s and 3D printing introduces pollutants which many homes in their design where not meant to deal with.

Reference for citation:

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