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Risk assessment of 3D printers and 3D printed products

(Nanowerk News) An increasing number of private consumers buy 3D printers and install them at home. Likewise, private consumers can make 3D printed products at several institutions (e.g., libraries) and shops, or order 3D printed products via websites. The project assessed the risk involved when using 3D printed products.
The assessment ("Risk Assessment of 3D Printers and 3D Printed Products"; pdf) was based on results from a number of chemical analyses of selected materials printed by the 3D printing techniques Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
The hazard and risk assessments were based on the results from the migration tests of the examined 3D printed products. In an actual consumer scenario where a one year old child drinks milk from a 3D printed mug, or where the printed materials were used as toys, it was assessed that migration and exposure of the substances do not appear in levels that can lead to health-related risks.
The project also assessed the risk involved when using FDM 3D printers. The assessment focused on emission from 3D printers and was based on existing literature.
The assessment finds that there may be a risk of respiratory tract and eye irritation from the emission of volatile substances and particles from the printing process when using a FDM 3D printer, especially when printing over a longer period of time in small rooms.
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