There’s growing popularity in Laser cutting & engraving and 3D printing applications in small businesses, schools, and makers as well. Although the machine itself doesn’t produce fumes during operation, chemicals such as PM (Particle Matters) and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) can be released during the process depending on the types of materials being processed, which can be hazardous to your health.
Emissions and Safety Concerns
Regarding laser, as it is shown in the Laser Cutter Safety Guideline from Carnegie Mellon University, hazardous particulates, vapors/gases will be given off during the laser cutting and engraving process.
Take wood laser cutting, for example, contaminants like benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons generated can be classified into VOCs; while soot belongs to PM.
When it comes to 3D printing safety, a report in 2018 prepared by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Research Partner for UL Chemical Safet shows that when using consumer-level desktop 3D printers, ultrafine particles (UFPs) and VOCs are emitted during operation.
- ABS filaments have been found to emit over 175 different VOCs, including carcinogens like styrene and methylene chloride.
- PLA filaments have produced over 50 identified VOCs, including 1-Butanol.
From available studies, no matter what type of materials you use, the main emissions coming from 3D printing and laser cutting/engraving operation generally fall into two main categories: PM and VOCs. So, what’s the big deal with PM or VOCs?
PM is a mixture of extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Short-term exposure to PM can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, aggregated asthma, and lung diseases as well as heart attacks and irregular heartbeat in people with heart disease.
VOCs are a large group of organic gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Excessive exposure to VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation as well, and poses a great threat to your liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Other health effects also include headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea.
For a safer consideration, it is therefore essential to have these harmful fumes removed from your working space, not only to yourself but to your lover, kids, family, neighbors, and others around you.
Given the emissions that 3D printing and laser cutting/engraving give off, what can you do about it, and what available options are out there?
Keep Your machine in an Enclosure
The most effective way to reduce the emission is to prevent them from leaving the workspace in the first place, and an enclosure does a great job of containing fumes and dust for laser in many cases.
Incorporate an Air Filter Option
Using an air filter to absorb PM and VOCs with an enclosure is also a useful way.
Make in Fresh Air with Snapmaker 2.0 Air Purifier
For Snapmaker 2.0 users, we now have a brand new air purifier addon. Incorporate with Snapmaker 2.0 Enclosure, the Snapmaker 2.0 Air Purifier helps to remove smell and reduce the fumes coming from 3D printing, laser cutting & engraving process, providing an extra layer of safety for you and your loved ones.
- Exclusive Filter Cartridge
A tailor-made filter cartridge for your Snapmaker 2.0, with five layers of different filters consolidated into one, is designed to absorb what‘s emitted during laser engraving or 3D printing process.
- Filter Detection & Filter Life Detection
The different levels of filter are arranged in certain order inside the cartridge to maximize its lifespan. In addition, Snapmaker 2.0 carries out real-time monitoring on the Filter Cartridge and shows its lifespan on the Touchscreen.
- Fan Speed Control
Tap on the Touchscreen to set fan speed for different types of jobs.
- Status Light
The built-in LED strip shows you how the Air Purifier is working through its color change, flowing, breathing, and flashing.
Now, you don’t need to shop around for a third-party air purifier or DIY a substitute yourself. Designed especially for laser cutting & engraving and 3D printing air filtration as a brand new Snapmaker 2.0 addon, the Snapmaker 2.0 Air Purifier is the perfect match for your Snapmaker 2.0 and the Enclosure to keep your air refreshed during your creative journey.
The Snapmaker 2.0 air purifier will be available for pre-sale on July 23rd. Stay tuned for more details!