Characterization of Emissions from a Desktop 3D Printer

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Mendes , L , Kangas , A , Kukko , K , Molgaard , B , Saamanen , A , Kanerva , T , Ituarte , I F , Huhtiniemi , M , Stockmann-Juvala , H , Partanen , J , Hämeri , K , Eleftheriadis , K & Viitanen , A-K 2017 , ' Characterization of Emissions from a Desktop 3D Printer ' , Journal of Industrial Ecology , vol. 21 , pp. S94-S106 .

Title: Characterization of Emissions from a Desktop 3D Printer
Author: Mendes, Luis; Kangas, Anneli; Kukko, Kirsi; Molgaard, Bjarke; Saamanen, Arto; Kanerva, Tomi; Ituarte, Inigo Flores; Huhtiniemi, Marika; Stockmann-Juvala, Helene; Partanen, Jouni; Hämeri, Kaarle; Eleftheriadis, Konstantinos; Viitanen, Anna-Kaisa
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Date: 2017-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Journal of Industrial Ecology
ISSN: 1088-1980
Abstract: 3D printers are currently widely available and very popular among the general public. However, the use of these devices may pose health risks to users, attributable to air-quality issues arising from gaseous and particulate emissions in particular. We characterized emissions from a low-end 3D printer based on material extrusion, using the most common polymers: acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA). Measurements were carried out in an emission chamber and a conventional room. Particle emission rates were obtained by direct measurement and modeling, whereas the influence of extrusion temperature was also evaluated. ABS was the material with the highest aerosol emission rate. The nanoparticle emission ranged from 3.7.10(8) to 1.4.10(9) particles per second (# s(-1)) in chamber measurements and from 2.0.10(9) to 4.0.10(9) # s(-1)in room measurements, when the recommended extruder temperature was used. Printing with PLA emitted nanoparticles at the rate of 1.0.10(7) # s(-1) inside the chamber and negligible emissions in room experiments. Emission rates were observed to depend strongly on extruder temperature. The particles' mean size ranged from 7.8 to 10.5 nanometers (nm). We also detected a significant emission rate of particles of 1 to 3nm in size during all printing events. The amounts of volatile organic and other gaseous compounds were only traceable and are not expected to pose health risks. Our study suggests that measures preventing human exposure to high nanoparticle concentrations should be adopted when using low-end 3D printers.
Subject: 3D printing
gas phase compounds
industrial ecology
material extrusion
occupational health
114 Physical sciences
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

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