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  1. #1

    What are the fumes like on Glow in the dark PLA?

    Hello, I'm pretty new to 3d printing, and for the moment I've got my printer set up in my dining room until I can find a better place for it. I've heard certain filaments (like ABS and HIPS) have toxic fumes when they're printing, but that PLA is relatively safe. I was wondering if special PLA filaments, like amazon basics glow in the dark or copper ones, are also safe? And what about their premium PLA material?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    I'm sorry, I dont really know what that has to do with the question? I'm definitely not burning anything, just wondering about fumes with glow in the dark PLA while printing

  4. #4
    The toxic aspects of plastics are more notable as they get warmer. The question you ask includes the elevated temperature to nearly 300*C. I have seen burned white ABS on my nozzles which are only suppose to get to 260*C. Therefore, the toxic aspects of ABS are being released in minute quantities while printing. The difference is degree as PLA at a max of 235*C has never shown burnt filament on the tip. The other aspects that are discussed in the video are what these materials are and how you could look at them in relation to your question. PLA is probably the safest and the glow in the dark aspect is simply a low level radiation thing similar to when watches use to use tritium for glow in the dark hands. In itself, it is no more dangerous than the glow in the dark stars that you give your kids. At elevated temperatures, you still have primarily PLA and the GITD molecule is well mixed with it. So by all rights, you should have no more issues with the GITD as you would with generic PLA.

    And I say this many caveats. PLA is not generic. Our filament is "formulated". See the MSDS (material safety data sheet) if your supplier provides it to know all you need to know about safety. If your supplier cannot supply you an MSDS, you might consider changing suppliers.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    no different types of pla don't smell worse than others :-)

    Not sure how toxic abs fumes are but it smells pretty nasty.

    Currently there is no definitive study saying whether or not 3d printing is toxic or not

  6. #6
    Does anyone use an air monitor to measure fume or particulate matter? Like a smoke detector? I've seen the UL recommendations and know that one local university stopped printing with ABS in the library because of particulate matter concerns. My concerns would be the risks that I can't smell.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    the odds are, that just walking outside your house and breathing in the car fume laden air, is a lot more dangerous than being in a room with a working 3d printer.

    Bear in mind that all we're doing is melting the plastic, not vapourising or actively burning it.
    And that melt takes place in a very small area, with cooling happening above and below it.
    Toasters probably give out worse fumes.

  8. #8
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Tilburg, the Netherlands
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    "Ultrafine particle emissions from desktop 3D printers" by Dr. Brent Stephens is generally the paper people refer to when discussing this.

    Different studies show that ABS emits about 10 times more fumes than PLA.
    Also people worry about the volatile monomers such as styrene in both ABS and HIPS. Though no studies show definitive answers to its impact on our health, I bet it all does have an effect on our bodies and we can best be the safest we can be. With PLA generally you are good on emissions, check the datasheets though for additives. For glow-in-the-dark check for heavy metal contents (strontium, copper, zinc, molybdenum, chromium, arsenic have been found in filaments).

  9. #9
    The standard PLA or ABS filament to which the manufacturer added a phosphorescent material. Manufacturers add pigments of calcium sulfide, zinc sulfide or strontium aluminate, which are the materials that will glow for a certain time and after they have been exposed to a light source, such as a flashlight.

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