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  1. #1
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    Opinion's on "Food Safe"

    I have been reading around a lot about the different materials, the tiny crevaces that are in the product because of the print method, etc etc. I am just curious on some of your guys opinion's about this. I understand that none of it is FDA approved and most likely will not be for some time. I'm more curious on personal thought's. The FDA is not the know-all of everything

    Do you use your print's on anything "food"? Be it popcorn, something to split a egg? If so, what material and post print stuff will you do it it, like a food safe cover on it?

    What about thing's made with ABS, and acetone smoothed. That should close "most" the microscopic holes, am I correct? Then there is the whole issue that it was coated with Acetone...

    I hear Nylon is decent for some things. Say, a ice cube tray. What's your opinions on something like Nylon material, for something like a ice cube tray?


    And as for the Acetone, how much of that is left on the finished product, like for example, I made a whistle last night and smoothed it out. Obviously the whistle is still going in my mouth a bit, would that be a cause for worry?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Bassna; 11-10-2014 at 01:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    well firstly: Every thing you use has bacteria on. It's all scratched to one degree or another after first use. You might not see the scratches without a microscope - but they're there.
    So the whole crevice argument is bogus. Wash stuff in hot water with an antibacterial detergent and 3d printed objects will be as clean as non-3d printed objects.

    secondly 'foodsafe' actually refers more to fumes given off when the material is burnt, than it does to eating off the material itself.

    Eating plastic - while not a great idea. Is safe. We can't break down abs or pla or pet or ninjaflex, etc in our stomachs - so it's all non-toxic in that respect.
    It just passes straight through the digestive system untouched. Pla might start to degrade, but realistically it's just not in there long enough to break down. And when it breaks down, it does so into non-toxic components.

    I've printed some custom stuffer tubes for my sausage stuffer. They work, they're easy to clean and nobody died.
    made them from abs 'cos I like my washing up water to be hot and I have fairly asbestos-like skin. And it was what I had.
    I've hopefully got some clear pet coming for my birthday or christmas - for which I have more food based projects lined up.

    here's some pics. For those of you who don't make your own sausages. I like using man made, collagen casing. It never has holes, it doesn't need rinsing and it's not a pita to get on your stuffing tube. BUT - it has very small diameter holes - and the tubes you get with your sausage stuffer never fit inside the packed tubes. so you have to unpack it and squish it onto your stuffing tube for use.
    I made small diameter tubes that can take the collagen tubes packed. So I only need short tubes - which cuts down on the back pressure and makes stuffing no harder than with a longer larger diameter tube.

    pikchures:








    These are beef, pork and venison snackstix. I run them through my dehydrator for about 6 hours at 64c


    And damn tasty they are too :-)



    Making custom stuffing tubes was one of the main reasons I wanted a 3d printer. I make a fair amount of sausage - all sizes and types. And I prefer collagen casing for many of them.

    I did make a couple tubes with nylon 618 - but it just warps and bubbles too much and they weren't really useable.

    I might make a test tube with the white pla. It doesn't melt enough to extrude till 200c, so a bit of washing up water probably won't effect it.

    The only issue I've had was a small fragment of a bullet - that I think must have come from the venison as you tend not to shoot cows or pigs with rifles.
    But the 3d printed stuffing tube - 100% success :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 11-10-2014 at 02:25 PM.

  3. #3
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    food safe plastics are nylon and pet. the problem is that a 3d print is not waterproof for the most part so liquids work their way in and can grow bacteira. for food contact i would limit it to dry foods. like you said popcorn and things like that. as for acetone, that will flash off and nothing will be left behind. how long that takes varies with environmental conditions and application. usually 24 hrs is a safe bet. acetone isnt that crazy hazardous anyway. flammable yes but from a heath standpoint its about one of the safest solvents. hell your body actually produces acetone on its own.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Here's the tiny 3d printed tube alongside the smallest tube that came with the stuffer

    Attachment 3373

    I actually printed out a shorter tube after that which is the one I used.

    food safe plastics are nylon and pet. ]
    And pla.
    It's made from food grade ingredients, doesn't give off toxic fumes when you burn it and is 100% non-toxic.

    At the end of the day there are people who will argue the point until the cows come home. And they might be people who breath city air or drink cola/ Both of which are far more hazardous to your health than anything you can do with a 3d printer.

    So it's entirely down to the individual.
    I studied biology and chemistry at college and worked in the food industry for anumber of years, even in a commercial food sample testing lab for a while - I have no qualms whatsoever in making stuff for food use.
    It's my choice - it's a thoroughly educated choice.
    And i accept all consequences.

    legally i can't sell anything to anyone I've printed that's meant for food use.
    That's legalities - it has no basis in common sense or hygiene - that's my opinion.

    I don't drink solutions of sucrose, glucose, citric acid, carbonic acid and phosphoric acid - Coke
    I think people who do are mad :-)
    I'll use it for cleaning drains, cleaning jewellery, tenderising tough cuts of meat, but drink the stuff ? Oh hell no !
    And it's passed as being safe to consume.
    Although:
    Phosphoric acid, used in many soft drinks (primarily cola), has been linked in epidemiological studies to (1) chronic kidney disease and (2) lower bone density.
    (1) A study performed by the Epidemiology Branch of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, concludes that drinking 2 or more colas per day was associated with doubling the risk of chronic kidney disease.[16]
    And yet it's considered foodsafe. And millions of gallons of drinks containing it are consumed every hour of every day.
    Printed plastic is considerably safer than many many things that are consumed every day.
    So make your own decisions - just don't try and sell anything you've printed as food safe. It is, just not legally :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 11-10-2014 at 02:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    well firstly: Every thing you use has bacteria on. It's all scratched to one degree or another after first use. You might not see the scratches without a microscope - but they're there.
    So the whole crevice argument is bogus.
    The crevice argument applies as much to the cavities within your print as the surface of the print itself. While it might be possible to wash off the surface, washing baterial growth out of the hollows within the print will be impossible. Printing at 100% infill or at least with enough perimeters to ensure the print is watertight will help, but you can't guarantee it.

    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    secondly 'foodsafe' actually refers more to fumes given off when the material is burnt, than it does to eating off the material itself.

    Eating plastic - while not a great idea. Is safe. We can't break down abs or pla or pet or ninjaflex, etc in our stomachs - so it's all non-toxic in that respect.
    Food safe does not refer more to fumes given off with the material is burnt. Small amounts of the material can break off and be digested during the course of normal use. The filament you use, even if it is biodegradable PLA, can have additives (colouring, plasticisers, etc.) that are not food safe and are harmful if consumed. Likewise, the printing process can introduce contaminants to the finished product that render it not food safe.

    Edit: formatting.
    Last edited by 3dkarma; 11-10-2014 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Formatting.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    I refer you to my previous answer :-)

    It's your choice and much safer - on average - than getting out of bed.

    We live in a world currently ruled by health and safety regulations. It's a small, occasionally sad world.

    You know that there are at least two working and viabley economic flying cars in enxistence. But alas they came too late - regulations no longer allow them to fly in our society.

    Likewise many things that are passed as safe to consume - really aren't.
    Realistically the actual danger factor from 3d printed items for food use is so low it's not worth considering.

    It's Up to you.

    I know I'm not going to worry about it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    I don't drink solutions of sucrose, glucose, citric acid, carbonic acid and phosphoric acid - Coke
    I think people who do are mad :-)
    I'll use it for cleaning drains, cleaning jewellery, tenderising tough cuts of meat, but drink the stuff ? Oh hell no !
    And it's passed as being safe to consume.
    Although:

    And yet it's considered foodsafe. And millions of gallons of drinks containing it are consumed every hour of every day.
    Printed plastic is considerably safer than many many things that are consumed every day.
    So make your own decisions - just don't try and sell anything you've printed as food safe. It is, just not legally :-)
    Thanks for all your thoughts. I agree with you, some of the thing's that ARE classed as "safe to consume" are so obviously about money to them. Imagine how much would be lost if Coke was discontinued? I just last night watched a great documentary on GMO's in almost all our food (here in America) and they are also classified as "safe", with such little research they had done on it at the time. $$$$$.

    This is all for personal use if I did make anything of course, not trying to sell it. And yeah if you really think about how much other worse things you do in a day's time, I doubt eating some cookies off a printed plate is the worst of it. Love the sausage maker you got there also, wish I had one

    And jimc, thanks for the thought's about the acetone on the product, that was more of a issue to me than being worried about some ice made in a printed tray or such.

  8. #8
    You can worry about it or not -that's your choice, but please be careful when claiming something's food safe when it does not meet recognised standards for food safety. There's a world of difference between saying you're OK with how safe something is and implying it meets standards. Remember BPA? Loads of polycarbonate products used to be made using BPA, but it's been found to seep into food over time and may have adverse affects on your health, so it's being phased out. Can you guarantee that the filament you buy has no contaminants in it, picked up from the floor of a Chinese factory, that will seep into your sausages over time? I'm sure you find it an acceptable level of risk, but others may not.

    Realistically, the actual danger factor from 3d printed items for food use is unknown, not low. Use at your own risk.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    You know that there are at least two working and viabley economic flying cars in enxistence. But alas they came too late - regulations no longer allow them to fly in our society.
    While I agree it's sad, it would have been pretty horrifying if the general population had gotten access to small, convenient, cheap aircraft before any authority had the idea to require the owner to have proper training for such craft.

    Sadly, these days general population just isn't even mentally equipped to even pass training for an aircraft if it were offered to them.

  10. #10
    Technologist bford903's Avatar
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    Most people I commute with every morning aren't mentally equipped enough to even drive a car.

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