Toxic? Where to put printer?

I don’t see anything in the Wikipedia article specific to smell receptor degradation. It mentions several other symptoms of poisoning of course (e.g. respiratory irritation, skin irritant, visual / hearing problems, headache, nausea, vomiting, coma), but not that one. I skimmed the other link - didn’t read through the whole thing but didn’t find any mention there, either.

I know someone who lost their sense of smell from chemicals, but I don’t think IPA was one of them.

I have a Form 3 and I seem to have no smell using Grey or Clear Resin.
There is a very strong smell from the alcohol so I try to have the Form Wash open for as little time as possible.

C/P from the same question on another thread:

I’m not a big poster but thought I’d add something. I’m the lead AME for a $12B engineering company and our Health & Safety Engineering team is extremely stringent on chemicals and safety. A full panel chem review was conducted on our print lab which runs a multitude of printers 24/7 producing thousands of parts a year; this included a 24 hour test of chemical/vapor emissions, a noise study, and an in depth analysis on every MSDS sheet on every Formlabs resin. With every printer in our lab running everything was given the full go ahead with no fume hoods or vapor extraction required. Just a normal room with A/C and no opening windows.

If that HSE team certified it to acceptable standards I’d imagine your personal Form 2’s or 3’s will be just fine.

EDIT: I should also add that the only PPE that was required based on this assessment are gloves for handling tanks/cartridges/IPA soaked parts and goggles when we make custom Formlabs resin blends in our mixing room (Last week we made a translucent red that glows in the dark with properties simulating ABS).

EDIT 2: For the sake of thoroughness I should also add that the only fume extraction requirement we have in the print labs is a fume hood over our IPA stations but that requirements exists company wide anywhere IPA is used. That is not tied to the Form Wash being unsafe just that IPA in general is a chemical that we required fume extraction for.


The biggest issue I’ve had is that inevitably the resin gets on nearby surfaces. It is seemingly impossible to prevent, so a guest bedroom may be an issue as far as surfaces getting the resin on them (a tiny drop gets a fair amount of counter icky). The resin isn’t toxic in the cyanide sense, but can produce an impressive skin reaction once you are sensitive to it (repeated touches). It was way worse with my older mSLA printer than the form 3 and wash station. It’s often from a drip when moving the build platform to the wash. And while you wear gloves, then you accidentally touch a counter leaving a resin fingerprint…

All my surfaces are covered with polythene sheets which can be replace when necessary.

OMG, are you my great aunt? Now I know why all the couches were covered in plastic, she was really secretly into SLA printing!


told you I think I red somewhere on forum

The box it came in can act as an enclosure. Just place the printer on the floor and the box over the top of the printer when in use. Seal the holes in the box with some tape.

This is my temporary solution while i have this printer at home during the pandemic.

It’s pretty nasty, and some resins are worse than others. I’ve found the elastic to be unbearable, while the clear isn’t that big of deal.

It’s fine to visit it, but you’ll want to create at least a little bit of exhaust ventilation from the room its in. If you have something like a laundry room with an exhaust fan, that would be ideal. Make up a solution based on your available spaces, but you don’t want to sleep with the fumes!

I keep my Form 2 in a small room with my AeraMax air purifier turned on.
So no dust, no smell, everything is fine.

The resin is toxic to some degree and it’s not advisable to be in long contact with it - nobody can predict what will happen if you’re exposed on the fumes for long period of time. Plus - the resin smells bad.

Personally I placed my Form3 into a cabinet (single section wardrobe from IKEA), drilled a hole on top and placed weak air extraction (get standard 15W/220V extraction fan and place 330nF/630V capacitor in series with the fan to reduce the speed). The air extraction is taking the air from wardrobe out from the room through air corrugated aluminium pipe like this one:

This solution guarantees no smells from the resin in the surrounding area.

Keeping the printer in dark, sealed cabinet also prolongs the life of the resin:

  1. Prevents from dust
  2. Prevents from UV light - some UV light penetrates the printer cover and can semi cure the resin (this is well visible if you keep the printer next door to windows or under direct sunlight).

There is so much bogus info. going around about the toxicity of photopolymer resin that it’s a wonder we haven’t all turned green and croaked.

My advice is to download the MSDS for each resin you print and read it.

From what I’ve learned doing so… it can cause redness and irritation of the skin and if your sensitive to it, it can actually cause a rash. If you drink it on a regular basis, it can cause birth defects in your offspring.

So my take away…

  1. ware gloves
  2. don’t drink it
  3. if the smell bothers me, I open a window.

That said, we cover the unit with a box turned upside down when not in use… primarily to shut out all light and preserve the resin in the build tank.

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Long (chronic) exposure on some chemicals can cause serious health problems in long term. The resin might be harmless (just irritation or redness) if you have accidental contact with it, but may accumulate and slowly deteriorate your health.

I have recently started working with the Formlabs printers. I am still researching into the resins, however I have always had a strong sense of smell, and I can smell them all. Yes Grey does seem to be the least offensive and some a outright strong. As someone else stated, if you can smell it then those are fumes/vapour.
Resins aside, what IS something you should be worring about is Isopropyl Alcohol, IPA. At the concentrations you should be using 90%+, most likely around 99% even, is dangerous. IPA is readily absorbed by the skin, in fact it opens your pores which is why you don’t use IPA to wash resin off your skin should that happen.
You know the warnings about eye protection, thats not just about splashing IPA in your eyes, its also about the fumes/vapour getting into your eyes and your body. When you read articles on IPA, you might see three letters CNS used, and wonder what they are talking about. CNS stands for central nervous system. There are certainly plenty of articles on the net to read.
From my local safety protection store I purchased a breathing mask with filters rated for organic vapour and eye goggles that look a bit like ones skiers use, as recommended by the store. The filters last 3-6 months depending on use.
There are alternatives to IPA, unfortunately I cannot find the article right now but there is a chemical they use in submarines that releases no vapoour, but does the same job. There are also plenty of reviews on youtube of comparisons to other products which give a better finish to the print than IPA.

The approved alternative is TPM. There are tradeoffs, although given alcohol pricing at the moment using TPM for the bulk of your wash process is bound to get you many more washes per dollar.

Hi i had the same problem build an enclosure for the printer I have mine on my livingroom and zero smells every time I print.

TPM is the only alternative they have tested. Its not a case of that is the only alternative that works.

For those looking, all resin Safety Data Sheets can be found here:

Formlabs state there are no volatile solvents in their resins.

However I’ve gone through quite a few data sheets so far and all have in them as a precautionary measure:
P261 Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray

Methacrylate Monomer seems to be the main ingredient across the resin range.
You can read for yourself what the EPA has to say about that:


Formlabs tested a bunch of different solvents. They have an article and a blog post about it here:

I used the word “approved” because IPA and TPM are the only ones they officially recommend and have released guidelines for.

I agree that doesn’t mean others won’t work. I know at least one person who uses DPM (followed by an IPA dunk) because it’s easier to source where they are.

Simple Green was the stuff used in Submarines with no air contaminants.

Interesting review videos here for IPA alternatives: