Safety Guidelines

MAKERLAB

SAFETY GUIDELINES

READ CAREFULLY!

The goal of these guidelines is to ensure you are able to use your 3D printer / 3D printing filament in a way in which reduces the hazards associated by implementing certain control measures.

Understand the various hazards and their control measures are very important. Hazards categories include:

  1. Electrical hazards
  2. Inhalation of fumes (particle) hazards
  3. Burning hazards / Mechanical hazards
  4. Fire hazards

Makerlab makes the following precautions when using a 3D printer / Filament:

Electrical hazards

  1. You should ensure that there is easy and safe access to turn off the printer at the power point;
  2. The power point must have an inbuilt safety switch connected to prevent electric shock;
  3. The use of an appropriate fuse can be in place to ensure that excessive current output from the power supply is protected against. This is not a requirement, however for extra safety it should be installed if one is competent in doing so and the 3D printer design allows (usually this can only be installed in a DIY printer kit);

Inhalation of fumes (particle) hazards

  1. You should avoid the inhalation fumes that a 3D printer releases. Ideally, Makerlab recommend that a 3D printer/s should be placed in their own well-ventilated room (eg having windows and doors open) to reduce exposure to inhalation of fumes. Ventilation needs to replace the air to remove fumes that the 3D printer releases. If ventilation is not adequate we highly recommend the use of a HEPA filter and/or air displacement system (eg air extraction fans) to avoid inhalation of fumes. Air displacement systems/ ventilation is recommended to displace (remove) 3 times the volume of air in the room within one hour.
  2. Materials that are recommended for printing with the 3D printer should only be used. The use of materials that release fewer harmful particles, ie PLA over ABS, is recommended where possible.

Burning hazards / Mechanical hazards

  1. You should ensure that all users eliminate long hair, loose clothing, jewellery and all other objects that an ordinary person would consider necessary, to prevent a user from getting caught in a moving part of the printer;
  2. When a 3D printer is in action, certain parts can get very hot and move very fast. You should not touch any parts of the printer when it is in action (except for use of the control panel);
  3. You should ensure that you allow sufficient time for all surfaces to cool down before handling;

Fire hazards

  1. In the unlikely event of a fire, you should ensure that there is an active smoke alarm in operation;
  2. You should ensure that no flammable objects are kept in close proximity to the printer.
  3. All safety equipment should be easily accessible. Safety equipment should include, but is not limited to, a fire extinguisher and fire blanket;

Miscellaneous Precautions

  1. A 3D printer should be monitored by an authorised or appropriate person at all times while the printer is running. Never leave the printer un-monitored when running;
  2. The user must have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the safety precautions when modifying 3D printer designs, or firmware;
  3. If you are unsure or unclear of any aspect, material or software associated with the 3D printer, you should seek appropriate advice before using the printer.

Connecting the printer

Operating the printer requires electricity. Please ensure all necessary precautions are taken prior to wiring and powering on the machine. The printer typically runs on a power supply with high output current. Extreme caution must be taken. Check and double check all wired connections and ensure the printer is turned off an unplugged before proceeding with any electrical work.

Temperature of Printer

High temperatures are involved with 3D printing, particularly fused filament fabrication (FFF) which involves heating a thermoplastic to a molten state and depositing this plastic layer by layer. The extrusion nozzle of the hot end can reach temperatures of up to 250 degrees celsius, the heated bed 110 degrees celsius and the molten plastic will initially be around 200 degrees celsius upon exiting the nozzle. Special care and attention should be made when handling these parts of the printer during operation.

DIY Printer

You must ensure that you understand that building a printer requires a certain amount of physical dexterity, common sense and a basic understanding of mechanical components and how they work. By proceeding you are responsible for your own health and safety whist building or operating this printer. With this in mind, ensure you are confident with your practices prior to commencing with building or buying this machine. Read the entire instructional contents to enable you to make an informed decision.

Using Filament

When using Filament make ensure:

  1. You should avoid the inhalation fumes that a 3D printer releases. Makerlab recommend that the 3D printer should be placed in a well-ventilated room. If ventilation is not adequate we highly recommend the use of a HEPA filter or air displacement system (eg air extraction fans) to avoid inhalation of fumes. Air displacement systems are recommended to displace 3 times the volume of air in the room within one hour.
  2. Bed temperature, nozzle temperature, print speed and other settings are set correctly to avoid malfunction and to ensure quality 3D prints.

Risk Assessment and Control Measures

Ensure you understand the risks involved and methods to minimize these risks. See and implement the below control measures where appropriate.

3D printing risk matrix and control measures 3D printing risk matrix and control measures