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  1. #1

    What filament is Food safe?

    Can anyone tell me which filaments are food safe? Is PLA and ABS food safe? Are there certain brands that are food safe?

  2. #2
    I've used PLA for coffee, but I'm not sure if it was safe or not LOL.

  3. #3
    Technologist MeoWorks's Avatar
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    LOL it's probably safer not to do that anymore. There are food grade filaments out there but I do believe they are marked up a bit.

  4. #4
    PLA is supposed to be food safe. Just be sure the parts are watertight. Ideally they would be smooth as possible so they clean up well.

  5. #5
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    I would think that the butadiene part of ABS makes it non-food safe. There may be foodgrade FDA approved filament, but I don't think that if you start selling products made of that, that the products will get FDA approval, especially if people have to print out their own items. I would be very careful with that. The only truly foodsafe 3d printed material I've found are ceramics, because they receive a glazing. For personal use, it's on your own risk of course I would probably use PLA instead of ABS then since the latter is petroleum based.

  6. #6
    You have to assume none of it is food safe unless it is specifically marked and marketed as food safe. ABS is most definitely not food safe and, even though PLA is not of and by itself harmful, contaminants can enter the plastic during the production process that render it not food safe. Even the dye used to colour PLA can render it not food safe.

    Printing with a food safe filament can also render it not food safe, due to the possibility of contaminants entering the melt chamber. Your entire printing process needs to be absolutely clean and free of contaminants if you're going to print food safe pieces.

  7. #7
    Technologist MeoWorks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dkarma View Post
    You have to assume none of it is food safe unless it is specifically marked and marketed as food safe. ABS is most definitely not food safe and, even though PLA is not of and by itself harmful, contaminants can enter the plastic during the production process that render it not food safe. Even the dye used to colour PLA can render it not food safe.

    Printing with a food safe filament can also render it not food safe, due to the possibility of contaminants entering the melt chamber. Your entire printing process needs to be absolutely clean and free of contaminants if you're going to print food safe pieces.
    Exactly, never assume something is safe.

  8. #8
    I think PLA is more than safe to drink from, eat with... I'm sure there are far worse things right now leaching into my body... who knows what this keyboard is made from or the mouse that's well worn. ABS though, wouldn't trust it.

    Jon

  9. #9
    I've heard that both types of plastic have microscopic holes in it that are impossible to clean out properly and so can breed bacteria. At Shapeways the only material they list as food safe is ceramic. The alternative is to design holders that can fit a disposable cup.

  10. #10
    I never envisioned myself eating a steaming hot bowl of porridge in a PLA bowl but I do see myself using one for popcorn and small things like that... if you want dishes, buy them... 3D printing is wicked overkill and won't last. I wouldn't be surprised, due to the low melting point of most of these filaments, that they melted themselves over time even just with dishwasher and water cleaning fluids.

    Jon

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