Shop Talk – 3D Printing and Air Quality!

In this episode, we will be talking about 3D printing and air quality, you that “stuff” we all breath in? As back when I started 3D printing, there wasn’t a lot of research on the impacts of this as frank your home is not an industrial building and with 3D printing we are melting plastic and you and your family are breathing in the results of this!

So we also set up this page to capture a lot of work which has been done in this space so you can educate yourself first hand here:

However what I really want to talk about in this video is how I deal with this in my home shop and how you might be able to also!

Parts to build your ventilation system
Marine Grade Fans for fume / VOC evacuation:

Hose for venting:

Fan Speed Controller (12volt):

Excerpt (

The lab tests showed that ABS is significantly more toxic than PLA, but that the corn-based polymer is not exempt form dangerous emissions, especially if extruded at temperatures higher than 200°C. Furthermore (as may be expected), the same material spools, when acquired from different resellers, release very different quantities of VOCs, even if used in the same 3D printer and under the same parameters of speed and temperature.

A second critical aspect is that relating to the emission of nanoparticles, that is, particles with a diameter smaller than .1 micron, which can be absorbed directly by the pulmonary alveolus and the epidermis. In this case, the emissions, when using ABS, vary from 3 to 30 times those that occur when using PLA filament. The test also demonstrated that the time necessary for the nanoparticle concentration in the air to go back to standard levels was between 10 and 30 minutes after the extrusion processes stopped. Through a photo-ionization technology, the study (which has been published on and will progressively be updated with further information) was also conducted on nylon, polystyrene, PET and other materials.

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