Most consumer 3D printers are designed to be portable and open, meaning the user can plunk one down on their desk and reach right in to the printing platform. While this encourages maximum accessibility, it also has a dark side: Tiny particles can escape into the air and be inhaled by humans.
Researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology and National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon, France, published a study this month that found commercially available 3D printers release a high amount of ultrafine particles. UFPs are particles less than 100 nanometers across that can be natural or manmade. UFPs are especially good at working their way into the airways and lungs, where they can be absorbed into the blood stream and cause health problems like lung disease, strokes and asthma over time.
Should 3D printer users be worried? Yes and no.
It’s not a good idea to sit hunched…
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