I just bought a Form2 and I need to figure out the best place in the house. My friend, who owns a Form2, told be their might be toxic fume coming out of the printer and he told me to not use it in the house. I can’t really afford to have it outside because during the winter it’s very cold where I leave.
I though of putting it in the guest room and opening the windows once in a while during printing session, but even that solution doesn’t really works for during the winter.
So, is it real that it is toxic? Should I put it in a room where people don’t visit? What about accumulating toxic fumes in this room?
Any solution will be appreciated!
In my opinion…
There is some Odor, but very little. Guest room is perfect… I think it should be kept at room temperature.
Hi @Marcologue I am far from an expert but I am an experienced F2 user and can help shed some light on your concerns. The resin itself has an odor but it is not necessarily toxic (maybe bothersome to some people). A few of the resins (flex, I’ve heard castable) have stronger odors than the normal resin.
Things that may be toxic (or at least incredibly irritating)
- touching the uncured resin (can cause skin irritation),
- breathing dust from sanding the resin,
- fumes from burning the resin,
- drinking the resin or more realistically consuming anything in contact with the resin
- strong alcohol fumes from the IPA bath(s)
Those are the things I would be more worried about than the actual odor from the printer itself. I would think the guest room would be a perfect place for it. Lastly the printer likes the warmth and lack of moisture…careful about leaving those windows open…and most importantly have fun with your new printer!
If you do a little digging on the FormLabs website, you will find the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the resins. Any chemical that’s used in the workplace has to have a MSDS, and it’s government regulated so it’s reliable data. The MSDS for FL resins says they’re relatively benign. They’re certainly not non-toxic if you drink some. But the fumes are not considered hazardous.
My printers (I have a Form2 and a Form1+) are sitting on the desk about 2 feet to my left, and have been sitting there for (in the case of the F1+) >2 years. I really don’t even notice the smell unless the printer is running.
First of all thanks a LOT for the quick response! I’m really touched that people care so much helping others like this here
Your replies completely answers my concerns!
One last thing, @kevinduhe when you say “burning resin”, when does resin burn in the process? Or is it NOT supposed to burn except accidently?
Burning means subjecting the resin to a flame after it has been printed and cured.
Pretty much what @CraigBroady said. We have a laser etching machine at my company which causes fumes… which are no bueno
That’s probably because you’re used of the smell.
I have one printer in a spare room and when I open the door I can definitely smell the resin. Flex being the worse.
My best advice for keeping the smell down is to clean the rinse area after every print. If the materials get spread out on a table there is a lot more surface area to cause stink. I just use a clean microfiber towel and a spray bottle of cheap denatured alcohol. This has made a huge difference from what I did with the Form 1.
Also, never leave the resin trays in the machine (or cartridges). I store mine in a dark tote but a cabinet would be good.
With the exception of Flexible (and third party) resins my photo printer smells worse.
Thanks for all the information everyone!
I’m opening my package today (received it yesterday) and setting it up! I will rememeber all that you said and I’m sure I’ll come up with other questions as I’m setting it up
My form 1 has set by my desk for a couple of years and the smell has never bothered be. The alcohol smells worse. I have had it on my hands with no ill effect. We did have a vendor that was a old time injection molder ask me what material the resin was made out of. When I told him I didn’t know, he promptly took a piece and set it on fire and took a big whiff. It did not smell good! He claimed it smelled like some material I can’t remember and went on his way.
Hahahaha nice way to test things
I wonder if he does that for everything he wants to have more information about… hide your kids people!
You don’t need to worry about it much, the resin and the IPA should be kept in a closed container (or the closed printer) most of the time so it’s not like it’s releasing fumes into the room constantly, even from printing it’s not doing all that much.
LMAO. I do the smell test quite often…but it is not normally chemicals I’ve set on fire!
You can get used to any smell, even Skunk. It’s a phenomenon called “olfactory fatigue”, your nose edits-out odors that are present all the time so you can smell new stuff better. But anyone who’s had their dog get skunked knows that your nose doesn’t take long to recover from “olfactory fatigue”. You wash the dog 10 or 15 times and you think the smell is getting better. Then you leave the house for a few hours and when you come back inside you realize all washing the dog did was spread more skunk smell all around the bathroom.
I don’t live in the room with the printers, so I most definitely notice the odor when I enter the room after being away for a while. But it’s no big deal (though yeah, some resins smell worse than others and I mostly use Tough which isn’t too bad).
I also have a little device called an “Atmotube” that constantly monitors the air quality in the room for (amongst other things) VOCs, which is the generic name for the chemical odors that outgas from stuff. Atmotube says my air quality is generally “good” and it only gets as low as “moderate” if I light up a cigar. But this room is well-ventilated with an always-on exhaust fan to the outside.
My point however, is that just because you don’t like a smell doesn’t mean it’s particularly bad for you. Like a Skunk’s odor is foul but the odor won’t actually hurt you physically. Same deal with FL resin according to the MSDSs. So while you don’t have to worry about physical harm, if the odors bother you enough, one option is to maybe do what I did and put a small exhaust fan in the room’s window to suck them out.
This thread caught my attention. I have a Form 2 and was very concerned about fumes. We have a new baby in the house and the thought of fumes was a great concern. We don’t have a garage, so the printer is in my work office. We also have a cat that likes to get into everything, so the printer needed to be isolated.
I decided to build a containment box for it. I wave a 120 mm fan at the top and one at the metal tube exit point. i also have another 120 mm fan at tube end and run this to a window right next to the unit.
So far this setup has worked very well. No fume smells, I can refresh the interior air with one run of the fans. No complaints from family about fumes. It has another advantage of keeping dust away from the unit.
In retrospect, the fumes aren’t that bad. Actually the IPA is the strongest part of the fume experience. Most of the time I only run after a print when the door will be open long enough. It also gives a the ability to stabilize the temperature inside the unit. The storage box underneath has been handy for keeping the alcohol and resins. Glad I did it, I’m concerned less about fumes & odor.
There are probably more toixins in the city with the trucks and busses sitting in traffic and they pose more risk than a 3d printer. The IPA is worse than the resin imo. I wouldn’t worry too much.
I do like that box though, be nice to keep dust to a minimum.
If it doesn’t have it already, you might want to consider a HEPA filter at the box’s air inlet so it lets in plenty of sweet, sweet air but keeps out all the nasty, nasty dust. Otherwise, besides being a Form2 fume extractor it’s probably also going to be a great household airborne dust and cat hair collector!
I made a dust cover for my printers to keep household detritus out of the workings. And the room my printers are in has fans (4x 4" Boxers) that exhaust to the outside, too. But I also smoke cigars in this room so if I didn’t have good ventilation I’d need a good divorce lawyer.
The fumes are deemed non-toxic. But I agree with your added caution with a baby in the house. And while the fumes are non-toxic and the resin is not. If you add a lock, having the printer inside a cabinet where a curious kid can’t get to it easily may save you some pain further down the road.
Wow this is all very interesting!
In that case I’d love to have the printer in my work area! The only problem would be that my work area is connected to the living room and pretty much at the entrance of my house so I’m just wondering if there’s going to be a permanent smell or only when and after using the printer.
If there is a permanent smell, I think I’ll keep it hidden in my guest room.
Very glad that there’s no toxic fumes etc - as planning to put my new F2 next to my hamster!