According to a study by Dublin City University, 3D printers can release harmful emissions in enclosed spaces. The researchers therefore recommend protective measures during operation.
The layer-by-layer creation of three-dimensional objects produces tiny plastic particles that can remain in the lungs for a long time. The printers also emit gaseous compounds, some of which have carcinogenic potential.
While exhaust air systems are usually used in industry, private users often only have access to the simplest protective measures such as window ventilation, according to the researchers. However, the basic functionality of the devices is identical.
To reduce exposure to harmful substances when 3D printing at home, the scientists recommend opening windows, wearing a mask or setting up printers in separate, ventilated rooms. This would reduce the health risk without having to do without 3D printing.
You can read more about this in the paper “Characterization of Volatile and Particulate Emissions from Desktop 3D Printers“.