The Hazards of Home 3D Printing

Many people are taking to the exciting world of home 3D printing, not thinking for a moment of the potential health concerns that might be associated with it. After all, what could possibly be dangerous in an innocent little printer? Unfortunately, as this video from Makers Muse shows us, there are some concerns arising about the materials being used in many hobbyist 3D printing projects.

The concern is that, when certain plastics are heated to their melting point by the printer, they may be releasing harmful gasses into the air you breathe. One such material is POM, or polyoxymethylene, which turns out to be another word for polyformaldehyde. When melted, this plastic releases trace amounts of formaldehyde gas, which is a poisonous substance known to cause cancer.

Just how dangerous 3D printer emissions may be is unclear. After all, it takes a significant amount of formaldehyde exposure to put yourself at risk. If you are in the habit of conducting your own 3D printing projects, you may wish to keep your printer in a well-ventilated area until more is known on the topic. In the interim, you can always entrust your 3D printing and rapid prototyping to 3D Composites in Seattle.