Reducing ultrafine particulate emission from multiple 3D printers in an office environment using a prototype engineering control
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Reducing ultrafine particulate emission from multiple 3D printers in an office environment using a prototype engineering control

Filetype[PDF-1.83 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Nanopart Res
    • Description:
      Recent studies have shown that high concentrations of ultrafine particles can be emitted during the 3D printing process. This study characterized the emissions from different filaments using common fused deposition modeling printers. It also assessed the effectiveness of a novel engineering control designed to capture emissions directly at the extruder head. Airborne particle and volatile organic compound concentrations were measured, and particle emission rates were calculated for several different 3D printer and filament combinations. Each printer and filament combination was tested inside a test chamber to measure overall emissions using the same print design for approximately 2 h. Emission rates ranged from 0.71 × 10| to 1400 × 10| particles/min, with particle geometric mean diameters ranging from 45.6 to 62.3 nm. To assess the effectiveness of a custom-designed engineering control, a 1-h print program using a MakerBot Replicator+ with Slate Gray Tough polylactic acid filament was employed. Emission rates and particle counts were evaluated both with and without the extruder head emission control installed. Use of the control showed a 98% reduction in ultrafine particle concentrations from an individual 3D printer evaluated in a test chamber. An assessment of the control in a simulated makerspace with 20 printers operating showed particle counts approached or exceeded 20,000 particles/cm| without the engineering controls but remained at or below background levels (< 1000 particles/cm|) with the engineering controls in place. This study showed that a low-cost control could be added to existing 3D printers to significantly reduce emissions to the work environment.
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