The goal of these guidelines is to ensure you are able to use your 3D printer / 3D printing filament in a way in which reduces the risks associated with 3D Printers by implementing certain control measures.
Understand the various risks and their control measures are very important:
- Electrical Safety
- Inhalation of fumes (particle)
- Burning / Mechanical Safety
- Fire Safety
- Risk Assessment and Control Measures
A 3D printer should be supervised by an authorised or appropriate person at all times while the printer running.
Never leave the printer unmonitored when running;
You should ensure that there is easy and safe access to turn off the printer at the power point;
The power point must have an inbuilt safety switch connected to prevent electric shock;
You should ensure that all users eliminate long hair, loose clothing, jewellery and all other objects that an ordinary person would consider necessary, to prevent a user from getting caught in a moving part of the printer;
In the unlikely event of a fire, you should ensure that there is an active smoke alarm in operation;
You should ensure that no flammable objects are kept in close proximity to the printer.
All safety equipment should be easily accessible. Safety equipment should include, but is not limited to, a fire extinguisher and fire blanket;
When a 3D printer is in action, certain parts can get very hot and move very fast. You should not touch any parts of the printer when it is in action (except for use of the control panel);
You should avoid the inhalation fumes that a 3D printer releases. 12volt Geek recommend that all 3D printers should be placed in a well-ventilated area;
You should ensure that you allow sufficient time for all surfaces to cool down before handling;
The user must have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the safety precautions when modifying 3D printer designs, or firmware;
The use of an appropriate fuse or circuit breaker can be in place to ensure that excessive current output from the power supply is protected against. This is not a requirement, however, for extra safety, it should be installed if one is competent in doing so and the 3D printer design allows (usually this can only be installed in a DIY printer kit); and
If you are unsure or unclear of any aspect, material or software associated with the 3D printer, you should seek appropriate advice before using the printer.
2. Electrical Safety
Operating the printer requires electricity. Please ensure all necessary precautions are taken prior to wiring and powering on the machine. The printer typically runs on a power supply with high output current. Extreme caution must be taken. Check and double check all wired connections and ensure the printer is turned off an unplugged before proceeding with any electrical work.
3. Inhalation of fumes (particle)
You should avoid the inhalation fumes that a 3D printer releases. Ideally, 12volt Geek recommends that a 3D printer/s should be placed in their own well-ventilated room (eg having windows and doors open) to reduce exposure to inhalation of fumes. Ventilation needs to replace the air to remove fumes that the 3D printer releases. If ventilation is not adequate we highly recommend the use of a HEPA filter and/or air displacement system (eg air extraction fans) to avoid inhalation of fumes. Air displacement systems/ ventilation is recommended to displace (remove) 3 times the volume of air in the room within one hour.
Materials that are recommended for printing with the 3D printer should only be used. The use of materials that release fewer harmful particles, ie PLA over ABS, is recommended where possible.
3. Burning Safety
High temperatures are involved with 3D printing, particularly fused filament fabrication (FFF) which involves heating a thermoplastic to a molten state and depositing this plastic layer by layer. The extrusion nozzle of the hot end can reach temperatures of up to 250 degrees Celsius, the heated bed 110 degrees Celsius and the molten plastic will initially be around 200 degrees Celsius upon exiting the nozzle. Special care and attention should be made when handling these parts of the printer during operation.
4. DIY Printer
You must ensure that you understand that building a printer requires a certain amount of physical dexterity, common sense and a basic understanding of mechanical components and how they work. By proceeding you are responsible for your own health and safety whilst building or operating this printer. With this in mind, ensure you are confident with your practices prior to commencing with building or buying this machine. Read the entire instructional contents to enable you to make an informed decision.
When using Filament make ensure:
A well-ventilated room or open spaced is used when printing any material; and
Bed temperature, nozzle temperature, print speed and other settings are set correctly to avoid malfunction and to ensure quality 3D prints.
6.Risk Assessment and Control Measures
Ensure you understand the risks involved and methods to minimize these risks. See and implement the below control measures where appropriate.