If you are using 3D printers indoor on the manufacturing floor, in an R&D facility, in schools, maker spaces or offices where people are present, you – and all those around you – probably could benefit from reducing your 3D printer’s toxic emissions by using a new industry grade cabinet from Copenhagen-based Owlson.
Owlson cabinets are made of anodized aluminum and laser cut acrylic materials for durable usability, and with its fully sealed enclosure, you will keep micro and nanoparticles (UFP), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and noise emissions inside the cabinet, away from human users.
The cabinets can be customized either as table version or combine it with movable floor stands for flexible roll-in 3D print-on-demand. You also have the option to add accessories such as active particle removers with HEPA and active carbon filtration technology, dehumidifiers, LED lighting and much more. The Owlson cabinets fit both medium and larger sized 3D printers and other similar sized maker-machines.
3D printing is becoming a very popular process but does come with a respiratory and cardiovascular health risk to users. UFPs released during the printing process may cause lung infections, heart problems if inhaled over a period and find their way into organs such as the liver and brain. Even corn-based PLA filament, which is not harmful, may create toxic emissions well above healthy levels.
Usually, the indoor environment would assume nanoparticles of around 2.000-3.000 pt./ccm. In an internal study series, printing a 3DBenchy boat in PLA for 2 hours creates a level of approximately. 175.000 pt./ccm. – 50 to 100 times the normal safe level.
The Owlson cabinets scan reduces noise by 20 %, with a reduction of nanoparticles (20-100 nm) by 60% and a reduction of microparticles (1-10 μm) by 80 %. It also provides a reduction in humidity levels by 20 % and limits temperature variations by 10%.
Martin Nielsen, Owner and Founder of Owlson, says: “Despite that commercial sale of 3D printers are on the rise and every company or school holds anything from a single printer to large print-farms – the pollution from these 3D printers has hardly been researched. At this point, we don’t even have any harmonized guidance standards in our industry that could describe acceptable levels of 3D printer emissions. What we do know is that printing does cause a health issue both to adults and children. Instant risk is low but as printers usually prints for hours, this has proven to increase infection biomarkers in humans. Our products deal with this health issue, by adding a flexible solution to the printer that both reduces the potential risk to human health and improve the printing quality.”