3D Printing Clean Air

Published on April 28, 2017

3D Printing Clean Air

Blog

At Nectar we’re developing a modular 3D printer meant for the enterprise. The fact that our printer consists hardware modules means that it is cheaper and faster for our customers to service the Nectar One. One can simply swap out a component for another rather than stop the entire printer and repair it for a number of hours. In due time this also means that we can individually upgrade our hardware components without our customers having to replace their entire machines.

One of our core hardware modules is our integrated HEPA/Carbon filter system. This unique filter was custom made for the Nectar One and we’ve written about this before here. The fact that the filter is a small form factor module that can easily be replaced by the user when it is end of life    means that it is an easy safety feature to implement and maintain. The filter also keeps the air in your office or manufacturing space clean. VOCs and fumes from 3D printers may be harmful, depending on the material and how they’re dispersed. We wanted to take no risks with this and this is why we developed our filter. We now have some testing results to share with you to show you how effective it is.

 

By placing a Nectar One in a room the air quality in the room will be improved significantly.

A Nectar One in your office will mean that your air will be 40% cleaner.

Our initial testing has shown that the air quality inside a printer is reduced by up to 85% when 3D printing ABS.

Overal we can see an air quality improvement of around 45% when 3D printing with the filter installed.

Our initial results indicate that the filter would meet the WHO PM2.5 Level A: <10 μg/m^3 for VOCs(PM2,5).

The air and the VOCs comping off the Nectar One with filter installed are compliant with WHO standards.

When we tested 3D printing without the filter we measured unsafe air quality as per WHO standards. This means that our initial assumption was correct and fumes emitted from 3D printers would not be deemed safe according to WHO standards. This means that we would assume that there are safety risks associated with 3D printing and we would recommend that people either make a filter system such as ours or always install a 3D printer inside a fume hood or similar device.  The Isobutylene VOC tests on the other hand indicated a low level of VOCs present.

We would therefore recommend to everyone in 3D printing land that they look at how to 3D print clean air.