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Scientists have proved the harmlessness of 3D printing ABS, PLA, PET and nylon

The study, funded by the SajTomLightFuture Ltd., private company, headquarters of which is in Poland, aimed at studying the emissions of filaments for 3D printing: ABS, PLA, PET and nylon.


Studies have demonstrated that with adequate ventilation and printing of such materials as ABS, PLA, PET and nylon, is not detrimental to users of 3D printers. The fact is that the maximum temperature of extrusion in a typical desktop 3D printer is from 240 to 250°C. Risk of creation of harmful gases during the melting of plastic occurs at a temperature treatment of materials of about 460-600°C.

Scientists say that the “working” temperature 3D printers is much lower pyrolysis temperature at which the formed CO (carbon monoxide) and HCN (hydrogen cyanide). Experts SajTomLightFuture specially plastic heated up to 240-250°C, were measured and recorded evaporation occurring at the same time, for 10 minutes.

In a three-dimensional printer with the size of the printed layer 400 × 390 × 520 mm and a volume of air of about 50% of the total concentration of organic pollutants produced by the ABS for one hour, approximately 280 parts per million. The result is that the concentration of the resulting organic vapor is not dangerously high and therefore poses no threat to the user.

As expected, the number of compounds produced by the melting of PLA, 32% lower than the corresponding figures produced by the ABS.

Recommendations and future prospects

Scientists strongly recommend to use 3D printers, equipped with special filters. It is worth to focus on models with photocatalytic filters, as they are able to neutralize harmful gases in the air. Such a filtering system often used in printers manufactured by 2016.

At the same time, scientists do not plan to stop. In the near future to hold a further study with a change in the variables used (volume of the printer, volume of the room, the thickness of the threads).

The full paper of the study discussed in this article can be read in the journal “occupational and environmental”. The authors are Simon Wojtyla, Peter’s Clam and Tomasz Baran.


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