Occupational exposure and indoor environmental quality evaluation from operating multiple desktop 3D printers in an office environment within a library.
Jay L. Peterson, Kevin S. Dyrdahl, Stacy Bruss
Based on previous air quality studies focused on environmental test chambers or the characterization of filament emissions, desktop 3D printers have been shown to generate particle emissions and volatile organic compounds during printing operations. Due to their continued increase in popularity and use, the printers may be operated in varied settings, including libraries, classrooms, and homes. Additionally, they may be placed around varied workplace personnel and general population groups, including office staff employees or school-age children. In this study, air quality and noise levels were analyzed during the simultaneous operation of three desktop 3D printers in an office environment, within a library, in order to evaluate for occupational exposure and also provide for a more comprehensive indoor environmental quality assessment. Particle emissions and volatile organic compounds were detectable above background levels throughout the duration of the printing. Particle emissions, characterized as the primary emission type, were generally stabilized at 30,000 to 60,000 particles per cubic centimeter above background levels during the majority of printing operations. General room ventilation, including a 9.45 air changes per hour rate, reduced the particle concentration levels by one half after 12 min to 13 min; and, to near background levels within 18 min to 20 min. Average sound pressure levels were 12 dB above background readings while all three printers were in operation. While it is unlikely that an occupational exposure limit would be exceeded, particle emissions, volatile organic compounds, and sound pressure levels were detectable above background levels throughout the printing operation. Additional considerations related to exposure criteria and ventilation may be needed based on the location and operation of a desktop 3D printer in proximity to other persons (non-employees) and personnel who are not accustomed to changes in indoor environmental quality parameters.
International Journal of Academic Makerspaces and Making
, Dyrdahl, K.
and Bruss, S.
Occupational exposure and indoor environmental quality evaluation from operating multiple desktop 3D printers in an office environment within a library., International Journal of Academic Makerspaces and Making, [online], https://doi.org/10.21428/70cb44c5.304ca1a6
(Accessed September 29, 2022)