A study by researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology has uncovered substantial amounts of nano-sized particle emission in indoor air. The study claims to be the first to examine the amount of particle emission for 3D printers that are commercially available.
These 3D printers are popular for quick prototyping and small-scale manufacturing in homes and small offices. As a by-product of their printing process, the researchers have discovered aerosol emissions that consisted of large amounts of nano-sized particles. In their course of work, the researchers "measured ultrafine particle concentrations resulting from the operation of a single type of popular commercially available desktop 3D printers inside an office space."
According to Phys.org, different studies have pointed to the dangers of the inhalation of such particles in large amounts, leading to stroke, asthma symptoms and even death from cardio-respiratory failure. Due to the fact that most end consumer 3D printers are sold as stand-alone devices, without any particle emission filtration system, the Illinois Institute of Technology's research team advised caution in their usage. These devices should be operated in a well-ventilated room, and they also called for further investigation into a wider range of such products.