3D Printing danger issues

Minars, Kelley Minars at UTHSCSA.EDU
Thu Feb 25 09:36:08 EST 2016

Hi Helene,

We've actually had something like this happen with our 3D printer. We have a Makerbot that uses PLA, which is the safer of the two filament types. We originally had the printer set up in one of our staff areas and we got complaints from a few about the possible danger of particles in the air.

What we did to address those concerns is we brought in someone from our Environmental Health & Safety department and they did an air quality scan in several areas around the library, including where the printer was set up, to test the levels over time. The results they came back with showed that the air quality/fine particulates was actually worse in areas with copiers and regular paper printers than where the 3D printer was. This addressed staff concerns, but we still moved the printer to the staff area where I work. We're unconcerned, and the area is well enough ventilated. You might be able to bring in an outside contractor to do an air quality scan in your library.

Also, depending on the model of 3D printer you have, some companies sell special hoods that fit over the printer to reduce fumes or particulates.

Good luck with working everything out,

Kelley Minars, MLIS
Web Services Librarian
Briscoe Library
UT Health Science Center, San Antonio
minars at uthscsa.edu

----Original Message-----

Date:    Wed, 24 Feb 2016 17:51:38 +0000
From:    Helene Bjorseth <hbjorseth at HPLIBRARY.ORG>
Subject: 3D Printing danger issues

There has been a lot of publicity lately regarding the dangers of fumes from 3D printing. Although this seems to be a larger issue with ABS plastic, our patrons won't know the difference and we are starting to get some complaints.

Staff has already requested that we don't print in any staff areas, and tonight, apparently, our local CBS TV station is running a report on this issue.

What is everyone doing to address the concerns of staff and the public?

We don't have any area of the library that can be sealed off and ventilated to the outside for printing purposes.

Is this an issue at your library?


Helene Bjorseth
IT Services Manager
Highland Park Public Library
494 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035
847-432-0216 ext. 136
hbjorseth at hplibrary.org


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