Your 3D Printer Is Trying to Kill You

Printing process can be as dangerous as smoking indoors, according to a recent study

August 2, 2016
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the middle of waiting for your latest 3D print job? A recent study by the Illinois Institute of Technology indicates you should probably hit “cancel” ASAP.

According to data from the Illinois Institute of Technology, 3D printing could be hazardous to your health. The culprit? Chemicals from melting plastic in an enclosed space.

The process of 3D printing involves emission of ultrafine particles (UFPs), which may be safe in a properly ventilated, controlled factory setting, but when released in the close confines of a home, could prove hazardous. Researches measured the amount of UFPs released when printing a small plastic item, and discovered the number to hover around 20 billion in a low temperature setting.

The experts compared the ill effects from the 3D printing process to smoking a cigarette indoors. Thus, unless you live in a factory, you may want to consider going back to boring old 2D printing.

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