28 July 2013 - 12:52pm | posted by | 1 comment

Stroke warning on 3D printers as they hit the High Street

Release: Maplin took 3D printers to the High St earlier this monthRelease: Maplin took 3D printers to the High St earlier this month

Researchers have warned 3D printers could be harmful to people’s health – even causing strokes – if they are not set up within a suitable environment.

A team at the Illinois Institute of Technology found particles expelled by the process used in 3D printing could cause symptoms similar to asthma and may even lead to strokes if inhaled.

The report explained the harmful particles were easily removed within industrial environments but commercial 3D printers now hitting the High Street had no exhaust ventilation or filtration accessories.

Lead author of the report, Brent Stephens, said: “These results suggest caution should be used when operating some commercially available 3D printers in unvented or inadequately filtered indoor environments.

“Additionally, more controlled experiments should be conducted to more fundamentally evaluate aerosol emissions from a wider range of desktop 3D printers and feedstocks.”

The 3D printer technology has been in use in a range of industries but is only now breaking into the mainstream, raising concerns over domestic safety.

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