Over recent years there has been an increase in the use of 3D printing in schools and colleges. Whilst this is an exciting and innovative new technology, there is now evidence that there are health and safety risks associated with the process of heating and extruding plastic filament to form 3D objects.
Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) which is the most commonly used technology in schools and colleges. FFF printing is a process of laying down melted plastic filament in a series of layers. The adjacent layers cool and bond together before the next layer is deposited. New Health & Safety Guidelines have been introduced for users of this technology on how to work safely and mitigate potential associated risks.
Why you should take notice of these guidelines?
The use of this technology is relatively new and published studies have suggested that filament combustion products may present a risk to health when inhaled. Individuals most at risk include those with pre-existing asthma and breathing difficulties and those predisposed to developing asthma.
What this means to schools and colleges
Some types of 3D printers now need to have a fume extraction unit to extract and filter the harmful particles produced in the 3D printing process. Specially designed extraction units are now available for these types of 3D printers.
If you are responsible for purchasing and looking after 3D printing equipment in a school or college, but you are unsure if the new Health & Safety guidelines apply to you, Hobarts can help. Simply call our support team on 0333 900 8700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can advise if your machine is affected and what can be done to comply with the new regulations.